Fighton Simukonda, Zambian football player and manager, Died at 58

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Fighton Simukonda was born on February 2, 1958, and died on February 15, 2016.

He was a Zambian coach and former footballer.

Fighton Simukonda was part of the very successful Nkana Red Devils side of the 80s, winning 5 league titles, and he also captained Zambia.

Whilst he was a coach, Fighton Simukonda has won several Zambian Premier League titles and became the first coach to lead a Zambian club to the group phase of the CAF Champions’ League.

He was over six feet tall, Fighton was a commanding presence on defence and in 1980, was selected by Division I side Vitafoam United where he lined up with players like Ronald Mkandawire, Lackson Chanda, Michael Chabala and Boniface ‘Killer’ Chanda, The following season, Simukonda captained Vitafoam to a 2–1 Independence Cup final victory over Strike Rovers.

In 1982, Vitafoam proprietor Abram Mokola decided to give some senior players the opportunity to acquire coaching skills so Simukonda was one of five who were sponsored for a coaching course in England in March of that year.

His fine defensive play caught the attention of Kitwe giants who signed him soon after his return from England and Vitafoam claimed he had breached his contract with them.

The contract argument kept him out of action for almost four months until the two teams where agreed as  a compensation package.

He had hardly joined Nkana when head coach Moses Simwala was suspended so Simukonda took charge of the team, but he informed the club’s management that while he was equal to the task, he was still an active player so Nkana great Stone Chibwe was brought in to hold fort.

Fighton Simukonda made his national team debut in October 1983 in an Olympic Games qualifier against Egypt in Lusaka which Zambia won 1–0 courtesy of a Peter Kaumba strike.

Following that, Fighton Simukonda was a regular in the Zambian defence and was part of the team that won the country’s first-ever CECAFA Cup in Uganda in 1984 under Brightwell Banda.

Fighton Simukonda led the Rangers to a sixth place finish in 2012 and after a strong start in the 2013 season, the Rangers ended up in third place.

He was currently assistant coach of the Zambia National team headed by George Lwandamina.

Fighton Simukonda passed away at 58 yrs old.

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