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‘Four-legged Wizard’ set for launch today

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Preparations for the launch of Malawi football icon Kinnah Phiri’s book at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe this evening have been finalised.

Phiri said he had named his book The Four-legged Wizard to celebrate his exploits in the game.

“Zambian football commentator Dennis Liwewe gave me this nickname after he was amazed with my goal scoring. He just couldn’t believe that a human being with two legs could manage to do what I was doing on the pitch.

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“The same Liwewe gave me another nickname ‘Electric’. He said the way I played was as if I was using electricity. So the book is celebrating such moments,” he said.

Phiri said the book also rekindles memories of his achievements both as a player and coach locally and internationally.

“I have worked in many countries where I encountered a lot of experiences. My journey in football has been quite long and I have a lot to share through my book.

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“This book has all sorts of stories and pictures that explain my experiences. My wish is that the current generation of footballers should get inspired by what I went through,” he said.

Phiri said he had invited his fellow legends to the launch as a token appreciation for the role they played in making him one of the best players Africa has ever produced.

“In the early days, I used to fly from Karonga to Blantyre to play for Bullets without training with the team. My teammates readily accepted me without asking why I was playing without training with them.

“These are the people I want to thank by dedicating a percentage of proceeds from this event to them. I know some of them need support and this is my small contribution,” he said.

He asked stakeholders to play their part in appreciating legends’ contributions to the local game.

Sports Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda said such initiatives required support from all Malawians.

“We should join hands as Malawians to appreciate what our sports personalities like Kinnah did to the country’s sports development. I therefore call for support from all sectors towards such an initiative,” Chimwendo Banda said.

During his playing time in the 1970s and 1980s, Phiri was among the best talents in Africa, helping Malawi to win the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup in 1978 and 1979.

He remains the top goal scorer for Malawi, with 71 goals in 115 appearances.

According to Goal.com, the goals rank Phiri on position 16 on the list of the world’s top scorers.

He comes second to Zambian Godfrey Chitalu, who netted 79 goals in 108 matches.

Phiri also registered great success as a coach, having helped Nyasa Big Bullets to qualify for the group stages of the Caf Champions League in 2004.

He also steered the Flames to their second qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010.

Phiri also coached South Africa’s Free State Stars, saving them from relegation on several occasions.

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