THE TIMOTHY MWITWA FACT-FILE
Written by Millennium on February 11, 2019
CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY
In the same year, Mwitwa also won the Heroes and Unity Cup to hit a double. The Warriors’ heroes were winger Noel Chama and Matthews Njovu, in a 2-1 victory, over Nkana Red Devils whose consolation was scored by winger, Godfrey Muselepete.
And Mwitwa’s name is forever written in gold letters in both club and national hall of fame for his larger-than-life performance in the then BP Zambia plc-sponsored tournament, the BP Challenge Cup (BP Top 8)
When he almost single-handedly carried his team on his shoulders, in winning the 1989 and 1991 titles.
In the former final, in a grand-finale when Warriors embarrassed and destroyed Zambia Air Force side Red Arrows 6-1 at Independence Stadium, the show and spotlight was Mwitwa’s – to a lion’s share – in keeping with his nickname of Tiger.
Mwitwa delivered a hat-trick with Joly Chambisha coming on board with a brace while Joseph Chilekwa scored the other.
By Mwitwa’s feat of hammering in three goals in the 1989 BP Challenge Cup final, he thus joined the great names to have ever scored a hat-trick in the final of the then BP Zambia Plc-sponsored championship which has been christened by various names at various stages of its existence since 1964: Zambia Challenge Cup, Shell Challenge Cup, BP Challenge Cup and finally BP Top Cup at the time the last tournament was played in 2008 when corporate sponsorship was withdrawn altogether and hence the natural death of one of the biggest and richest tournaments in Zambia’s domestic football.
Suffice to say that the first player to have scored a hat-trick in the tournament was Green Buffaloes’ Pele Kaimana whose team flattened Konkola Blades 5-2 in the 1979 final before Mwitwa would follow suit in 1989.
Nkana’s Musole Sakulanda would join the select band in 2000 when the 12-time Premier League champions would scotch the seemingly jinxed Chililabombwe side 5-1 in a final played at Chingola’s Nchanga Stadium.
But then Mwitwa would pour water on the hat-trick records in the final of the tournament by netting a super hat-trick (four goals) in the 1991 final of the same championship.
The man also known by the moniker of Teacher, was the hero of the all-conquering team of 1991 when it tore the seemingly forever jinxed Konkola to shreds in a 7-0 mauling of the Chililabombwe side.
Other scorers on the day for Warriors, were striker M’gaiwa, defender Changwe and Chilumba.
Elsewhere, Mwitwa won the Champion of Champions Cup three times in 1987, 1989 and 1991, the tournament he won the most at Warriors.
And in his only Mosi Cup victory, with the men from Railway Ground (Godfrey Chitalu Stadium) in 1987, his team beat Power Dynamos 3-2, be it as it may that on this occasion, Mwitwa was not among the scorers.
In all, Mwitwa won 9 honours while playing for Warriors: 1 Premier League title, three Champion of Champions Cups, 2 Charity Shields, 2 BP Challenge Cups and 1 Mosi Cup to put the cherries on a truly glorious club career, with a touch of gloss.
Mwitwa joined Nkana FC at the start of the 1993 season before he lost his life in the Gabon Air Disaster with 17 of his fellow colleague and two coaches and 12 others on the ill-fated buffalo military plane.