History Of Malawi

The Legacy of a Defunct Soccer Club Called Berec Power Pack, Later MDC United.

Squatting in front from Left: Clifton Msiya, Joe Chitsime, John Bito, Alex Nyanga, Gusto Nyirenda and Frank Sinalo.
Squatting in the middle line: Mc Arthur Salamu, Yusuf Maunde, Henry Mwale and Kinsley Nyirongo.
Standing: Daud Chitulu coach, Elliot Phwitiko team Manager, Holman Malunga, Connex Kalembo sub Goalkeeper, Vivian Damalekani, John Dzimbiri, Henly Mwale, Kingsley Nyirongo

In Malawi, there was a soccer club called Berec Power Pack which was later renamed MDC United around the mid 1980s. This team though defunct, left a legacy on the history of soccer in Malawi.

It had players like: Big Joe (John Dzimbiri), Patrick Pompido Chimulambe, Schubert Kuwali, Chilango Ndalama, Kingsley Maulidi, Brian Malowe Ndau, Francis Jim, Eric Chikafa, Mwiza Kumwenda, Chawanangwa Kumwenda, Charles Maluwa, William Chidoola, Peterkins Nkunga, Joe Chitsime, Holman Malunga, Clifton Msiya, Mpinga Khondowe, Davious Wasambo, Frank Sinalo, Gerald Phiri, Dan Dzinkambani, Davie Banda, Hendrix Banda etc.

On 2nd June 1984, Berec Power Pack lifted the Kamuzu Cup after coming from behind to beat CIVO United 3-2. This was a debut match for Berec Power Pack’s youngster Brian Malowe Ndau who came in as a substitute for Clifton Msiya who had limped off due to an injury sustained in March 1984 at the AFCON tournament in Ivory Coast. At that juncture, Berec Power Pack were trailing 2-0. The man of the match eventually became Brian Malowe Ndau.

In 1988, MDC United under coach Henry Moyo, won the Super League championship and became the first team in Malawi to clinch the league title without loosing any game.

In 1989, MDC United proceeded to represent Malawi at the CECAFA Club Championship in Kenya where they failed by a point to sail through to the second round after playing against Coastal Union of Tanzania, Nchanga Rangers of Zambia and Kenya Breweries.

The MDC United squad to Kenya consisted of the following players: Schubert Kuwali, Kingsley Maulidi, Reuben Chiwaula, Chilango Ndalama, Wanangwa Kumwenda, Clifton Msiya, Brian Malowe Ndau, Hendrix Banda, and Daniel Dzinkambani, Frank Sinalo and Gerald Yellowman Phiri.

In 1993, MDC United joined the CAF Cup for the runners-up in the Africa’s domestic leagues. They played two matches against Hellenic of South Africa (for which Mark Williams was a star). They were booted out of the race after drawing 1-1 at home and loosing 6-0 in Cape Town in the second leg match.

In 1994, MDC United won two trophies namely: Chibuku Cup and Press cup by hammering ADMARC Tigers and Silver Strikers respectively.

MDC United’s striker Frank Sinalo is among a few players in the history of Malawi soccer who scored exceptionally important goals for the national team (Flames) at most critical moments.

For instance, on 5 April 1987, Frank Sinalo scored a brilliant goal with a scissors kick in Lusaka when the Flames lost to Zambia 3-1. The return match was played on 19 April 1987 in Blantyre. Malawi had to score 2-0 in order to qualify to play at the 1987 All Africa Games  in Kenya in August.

In this match, Frank Sinalo netted a second goal for the Flames with a scissors kick to make it 2-0 which the Flames desperately needed to progress to the final stage of the 1987 All Africa Games.

The following year, on 19 November 1988 in Blantyre during the final match of the CECAFA tournament, Frank Sinalo scored an equalizer with a header against Zambia in the dying minutes to make it 1-1. The Flames went on to win the match 3-1 after extra time and clinched the CECAFA cup for the third and last time.

Another player from MDC United who made an indelible mark in the history of soccer in Malawi and Africa at large, is Clifton Msiya. At the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast in March 1984 to which the Flames qualified for the first time, Clifton Msiya scored a magnificent goal for the Flames against Nigeria which became the goal of the tournament. He eventually appeared on the Top 10 FIFA’s Africa Player of the Year for 1984.

Clifton Msiya.

Previously, in 1983, MDC United’s coach Henry Moyo was the one who took the Malawi National soccer side (Flames) as a coach all the way to qualify for the 1984 African Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Later in 1987, he also worked with the Flames as a coach all the way to qualify for the 1987 All Africa Games.

And again, just as it happened with the 1984 Afcon, he was not the one who traveled with the squad to Kenya in 1987 for the All Africa Games.

This means that twice, Henry Moyo did the ground work as a coach to have the Flames finally make it to appear at the two continental tournaments in 1984 and 1987 respectively, but couldn’t accompany the squads to the final stages of the two tournaments held in March 1984 and August 1987 respectively.

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