(Last Updated on January 1, 2013 by Editor)
ZIMBABWE – MOSES Chunga says he is still struggling to adjust to the reality that an entire Belgian town came to virtual standstill, in the past 10 days, just to honour him for the services he rendered to their local football club about 20 years ago.
The Zimbabwe football legend received five-star treatment in Aalst after returning to his old club, Eendracht Aalst, for a homecoming show for the first time since he left the team two decades ago.
Chunga returned home on Thursday night after a 10-day stay in Aalst where he was feted like a king.
The former Warriors skipper put his signature, alongside that of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in the Golden Book of the city of Aalst at a function to honour him at Town House and was also given a standing ovation by the club’s fans in his first appearance in their stadium.
Yesterday, Chunga told The Herald that the treatment he received, at the hands of his old club and the city that was his home for five years during his time as a professional footballer in Europe, was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“You can’t put a value to that, there is no price for such a thing,” Chunga said.
“It was incredible and sometimes, even at my age and everything I have seen and done in my life, there were moments when I had to wonder if it was all real and this wasn’t just a dream. It’s nice to be appreciated, especially by people who really like you for what you are, and I believe a lot of love was flowing towards me during my short stay in Belgium and I was blown away by the affection that people showed in me.
“When you have been away for about 20 years, you think, okay, maybe the people have forgotten me because some new heroes come along the way and maybe make a bigger impact than you and they take your place. But, I was shocked, completely shocked, to see that I was still a big part of the club and the city and that makes you feel good because you know that the people are doing it from the heart. And, crucially, you also know that you did something great during the time you were there.”
Chunga said he was surprised that even the young fans of E Aalst, who did not see him play during his time at the club, held him in his regard.
“That was a surprise because you would think the fans who are teenagers today, who were not there when I was playing, would not care much about this player who was at the club before they were born,” said Chunga. The Herald