The inspiring story of Zimbabwe football amputee Hardlife Zvirekwi
Hardlife Zvirekwi, the captain of CAPS United F.C., played in a league fixture in July shortly after returning to the field following the amputation of his left hand in surgery. The Zimbabwean defender’s ultimate goal is to make it back into the national team despite the effects of a disastrous car accident.
Zvirekwi, 31, lost his hand in surgery following an accident in which he lost control of his car in the capital city of Harare. He returned to training just a month after the traumatic event and took to the field in July in a league fixture against Harare City.
Zvirekwi’s 87th minute substitute was the highlight of the otherwise disappointing game. Caps United supporters and even the opposing team went wild when the defender ran onto the pitch, in a moment that many did not anticipate, given his recent trauma.
“I am so grateful to the Almighty that he made it possible for me to play again,” Zvirekwi told BBC Sport at the time.
“In life, when you come across calamitous situations and circumstances, what makes you strong is deriving positive energy and having a lot of faith that something great is going to come out of this tragic situation.”
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Zvirekwi, who was part of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, went on to insist that he has not retired from international football yet.
“I haven’t retired internationally as yet, the Almighty willing,” he added.
“I still want to break new ground and represent my nation – in my condition – to inspire other people by showing that the impossible is achievable if you are determined and hardworking.”
A month later, in August, he went on to help his team register their first win in the second half of the Castle Lager Premiership soccer season over Black Rhinos. Zvirekwi has indeed accomplished an impressive feat in bouncing back from what could have been a career-ending injury and he looks set to continue breaking down barriers.