Zambia Under 23 Coach Fighton Simukonda has died.
Simukonda who was also Coach for MTN Super league side Nchanga Rangers died Monday morning at Konkola Mine Hospital.
He was battling diabetes and was in and out of hospital since December 2015.
His death was confirmed by ZESO United, a team he coached before trekking to Nchanga.
“It is with sorrow that Zesco United regrets to announce the passing on of its former coach who until the time of his death was Under 23 National team coach and Nchanga Rangers Coach Fighton Simukonda. He passed away this morning 15th February 2016 at Konkola Mine Hospital in Chililabombwe,” ZESCO said.
In 2009, Simukonda popularly known as Big Fi became the first coach to lead a Zambian Club (Zesco United) to the CAF champions league group stage.
He was born on 2 February 1958 and he part of the very successful Nkana Red Devils side of the 80s which worn 5 league titles.
Simukonda also captained the Zambia National team and he won several titles as a Coach in Zambia.
He started his football career with Division II side Mimbula Diggers as a defender.
He later moved to Diggers’ town mates KB Davies FC, another Division II team.
Standing at over six feet tall, he was a commanding presence in defence and in 1980, was recruited by Division I side Vitafoam United and 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 dispute kept him out of action for almost four months until the two teams agreed a compensation package.
Simukonda won his first league title with Nkana going unbeaten the whole season and would go on to win four more in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1988.
Simukonda also played for Jomo Cosmos for two seasons.