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12th Jan 2023

Former international footballer dies after being mauled to death by three pet dogs

Callum Boyle

The former international was declared dead at the scene

A former international footballer has died after his wife found him in his own back garden having been bitten by his own pet dogs.

Philemon Mulala, a former Zambia international, died at the age of 60 and was pronounced dead at the scene on January 7 at his home in Lichtenburg, South Africa.

Tributes have poured in for Mulala, who played for the likes of Mufulira Wanderers and Cape Town Spurs, as well as Copper Bullets.

The three dogs have been removed from the property by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Local authorities released a statement, describing how the body was found, saying: “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.

“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.

“She then went outside, only to find that the husband was bitten by their dogs.”

Mulala scored three goals in his six appearances for Zambia, scoring a brace in a win against Kenya in the semi-final of the East and Central African Championship – a tournament they would go on to win.

The Zambian FA also paid tribute to a player that won the nation it’s first piece of silverware.

Spokesperson Sydney Mungala said: “It’s such a tragic end. 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. [Since retiring] he had ventured into business in South Africa.”

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