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End of a stellar Era: Kenya's Were leaves Zesco United

17:13 GMT 30/12/2021
Jesse Were of Zesco United.
The centre-forward exits the Ndola club after winning a number of local titles and establishing himself as an iconic figure

Kenya international Jesse Were has left Zesco United after five years of service to the Zambian Super League side.

The Ndola club announced on Thursday that the former Tusker centre-forward - who is their all-time top scorer with 105 goals - is finally leaving.

"Were leaves Zesco United a very proud lad, having reached a century of goals last season and contributing two more in the first half of the current league campaign," the club's statement read.

"He will also depart the club having won four league titles, two Absa Cup championships, and two Charity Shield honours.

"A naturally gifted striker with a razor-sharp eye for goals, these are some of the fine qualities that made the Kenyan striker arguably one of the best foreign acquisitions Zesco United have made in the last decade." 

Zesco United Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mulenga, described the 32-year-old - who has been overlooked for international duties on many occasions despite top performances for the club - in glowing terms as he bid him farewell."

Five years ago, we brought [Jesse Jackson] Were to Ndola as part of our roadmap towards assembling a strong Zesco United side. Today, we can proudly say that he has been a success story for this team," said the official.

"Were’s winning mentality has been a catalyst to the growth of this football club. No one will ever forget the goals he has scored for this team and the joy he brought not only to us but also to the Zesco United fans.

"He is a true servant of the beautiful game who also sold his country very well to the outside world. We wish him the best of luck on his next journey."

Were, whose contract ends on December 31, joined Timu Ya Ziko in 2016 from Tusker; a club he featured for in 85 games and scored 46 goals between 2013 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the Super League heavyweights also announced the exit of Zimbabwean star Tafadzwa Rusike, who has been part of them for the last two years.

"I would like to thank Rusike for his contribution to the club’s success. He contributed greatly to our league title success last season. We wish him the best of luck in his next chapter in the game," Mulenga said.

Rusike played a critical role last season as Zesco United won the Super League title and the Charity Shield Cup.