Brave Gladiators footballer, Albertha “Chicken” Dawes passed away yesterday after being diagnosed with brain tumour a few weeks ago.
Dawes, who was 21, joined the Namibian Football Association (NFA) Galz & Goals project at the age of 10 and played for the Under-14 National Galz & Goals team, winning two gold medals as an U16 National Player in the Hessequa Girls Football Tournament in South Africa in 2010.
Dawes is considered the Galz and Goalz greatest youth graduate and got her first call up to the Brave Gladiators squad at the age of 15 and has 45 caps for her country at senior level.
Brave Gladiators Coach, Jacqui Shipanga who helped groom Dawes, said, “I am so sad. I am in tears, especially knowing that there is nothing I could do to save her life other than what I have been doing.
A great, Jolly, beautiful and excellent young woman who started to play her first official NFA League match at the same day I have retired from active football and she was only 10 years old, tall, strong and talented, always smiling.” She further added, “Dawes was more than just a player to the NFA. She had strong will power to do activities to encourage younger girls to participate in sport. I am really mourning, and I am wishing the family a time where God will provide them Peace and understanding. Her legacy will live on.”
Meanwhile NFA Secretary General of the NFA, Barry Rukoro said, “The NFA wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the briefed family, friends and the entire football family whom we know are touched by her passing. Chicken will be missed around Football House but her inspiring smile and warm personality will be remembered forever. “