Former Zambia striker Philemon Mulala, killed in dog attack, mourned by nation

Zambia's football community is mourning the death of former striker Philemon Mulala, who helped his country win their first-ever silverware, in 1984. Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Former Zambia international Philemon Mulala, who died following an attack by his own dogs in Lichtenburg, South Africa, is being mourned by the country's football community.

Zambia has been in mourning since the news of Mulala's death was confirmed on Monday, with the 60-year-old mauled to death by his three dogs in the garden of his residence in the North West province at approximately 3pm local time on Saturday.

Mulala was discovered by his wife and later declared dead on the scene, as relayed by police spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane, in a statement as seen by ESPN.

"She did not bother to go and check what was wrong [when the dogs were barking] as their house is situated on a busy street and the dogs frequently barked at pedestrians and vehicles passing by," Tselanyane began.

"After the electricity was restored [after loadshedding], she went inside looking for her husband, but could not find him.

"Upon continuing with her search, the woman saw her husband lying motionless outside in the garden," he concluded. "She then went outside, only to find that the husband was bitten by their dogs."

The three animals were subsequently removed from the premises by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

"It's such a tragic end," FAZ Spokesman Sydney Mungala told ESPN. "Many who watched him, especially fans of Mufulira Wanderers, have been pouring out their grief.

"Many remember him from the national team days, where he won Zambia's first major post-independence silverware," he added. "[Since retiring] he had ventured into business in South Africa."

A versatile wideman, Mulala was a prominent member of the celebrated Chipolopolo generation of the 1980s -- nicknamed KK11 after Zambia's founding father president Kenneth Kaunda.

The team won the East and Central Africa Challenge (CECAFA) Cup under the late Colonel Brightwell Banda in 1984, Zambia's first-ever silverware.

Mulala scored twice in the semifinal victory over Kenya, and nicknamed Shombo -- translating as Hard Worker -- he also enjoyed domestic success with local heavyweights Mufulira Wanderers in the mid-80s, where he was a teammate of Zambian greats Kalusha Bwalya, Efford Chabala and Ashios Melu.

"We remain with wonderful memories that the late Philemon honoured us with on the pitch", FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said in a statement to ESPN.

"There is a lot that today's players can learn from the deceased's generation."

He subsequently moved to South Africa to represent Cape Town Spurs and Dynamos FC.