Bright Phiri, former defender of Bata Bullets youth side affectionately called Banyamulenge, died on Friday night at Chiradzulu Hospital.
On the same day, former Malawi National Council of Sports executive secretary, Jarvis Chakumodzi, was laid to rest at St Pius Catholic Parish Cemetery whereas Phiri was buried at his home of origin in Mwakasungula Village, T/A Kyungu, Karonga, according to his brother-in-law Ausward Kibombwe.
In recognition of PhiriÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s service, Bullets released its team bus to transport his body to Karonga.
Phiri, 37, was part of a group of a talented Bullets side that comprised the likes of Peter Mponda, Simeon Kapuza, Harris Kayamba, Justice Mphamba and Patrick Nthondo. The team reached the Press Cup final in 1996, losing 3-1 to their seniors in Lilongwe.
Coach of the now disbanded Banyamulenge, Dave Mpesi, on Sunday recalled fond memories of Phiri who was a classy defender in the mould of Flames captain Mponda.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was a natural leader who talked less but led through his conduct. He used to rotate the captaincy with Mponda. He was intelligent and mature,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mpesi about Phiri who also played for Escom United.
The man who succeeded Chakumodzi at the Sports Council, George Jana, on Sunday described the late as a great personality.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was so passionate about sports and football in particular. He was a meticulous sports administrator, very organised and contributed a lot to Malawi sports,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jana. Among other achievements, Chakumodzi was instrumental in the recruitment of former Flames Danish coach Kim Splidsboel in 2000.