Godfrey Chitalu

Godfrey Chitalu

Godfrey Chitalu (22 October 1947 – 28 April 1993) was a Zambian football player and coach. He was a striker for Zambian top division teams and for the Zambian national team, of whom he became coach.

Chitalu, nicknamed "Ucar", played for club Kitwe United, winning the "BP Cup" in 1971. [cite web |url=http://www.times.co.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=17&id=1102631813 | author=www.times.co.zm | publisher="Times of Zambia"| title="Kitwe Utd eye BP Top 8 crown" | accessdate=2006-12-30] He then joined Kabwe Warriors, with whom he won the league title in 1972. He also scored a league record 107 goals that year. [Sources: http://www.thezambian.com/entertainment/top100.aspx, http://www.geocities.com/maidstonem/107.html]

With the Zambia national team, he played and scored one goal in the 1970 World Cup qualification process, where Zambia was eliminated after two matches. Four years later, he scored three goals and helped the team reach the final round of the 1974 World Cup qualifying tournament, at which they were eliminated by Zaire and Morocco. At the 1974 African Nations Cup, he helped Zambia reach the final round, where he scored a goal against Egypt. He also played at the 1980 Olympic tournament, scoring goals against the Soviet Union, hosts of the event, and Venezuela. ["(7 MB)" cite web |url=http://www.fifa.com/documents/static/development/OFT_80_TR.pdf | author=FIFA.com | publisher=FIFA| title=1980 Olympic Football Tournament - Technical Study | accessdate=2006-12-30]

He became the national team coach in 1992, replacing Samuel "Zoom" Ndhlovu. [cite web |url=http://www.times.co.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=8&id=1003342998 | author=www.times.co.zm | publisher="Times of Zambia"| title="Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu: Gentleman every bit" | accessdate=2006-12-30] During the 1994 World Cup qualification rounds, Chitalu was the national team coach along with Alex Chola. In the morning of April 28, 1993, while travelling to play a qualification match in Senegal, Chitalu died along with other 29 members of the national team as their plane crashed near the coast of Gabon.

Godfrey Chitalu was considered the best Zambian footballer of his time. He is buried at the Gabon crash Memorial site outside Independence Stadium in Lusaka along with the other victims of the crash.


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