Birth and roots
Samuel Chomba was born on January 5, 1964
in the mining town of Kitwe .He perished in the April 1993 Gabon plane crash.
Style of play and nickname
A central defender-cum-midfielder, Chomba was noted for man-to-man-marking and used his bulky body to shield off his opponents with supreme authority. So solid he was on the ball that it was almost impossible to either remove him off or indeed dispossess him.
Allied to this was second-to-none aggregation which at times bordered on belligerence.
In a way, immovability draws close comparison with Manchester City and Ivory Coast’s middle-of-the-park maestro Yaya Toure or former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfield-governor general Roy Keane widely regarded in United folklore as arguably the most inspirational captain of all time, often compared with Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona.
Samuel Chomba belonged to the versatile specimen of players who were able to play in more than one position and produce the same excellence in performance. Both at club and national level, he was able to play sparingly – either in central defence or as a defensive midfielder.
What is for sure is the fact that the name Samuel Chomba will forever be associated with Kabwe Warriors owing to his almost eternal playing career, aside a brief spell at South African side Dynamos in 1992.
While at Warriors, Chomba won ten (10) major honours in addition to the Charity Shield wins.
Chomba’s first honour with the Railway Ground (Godfrey Chitalu Stadium) team, came in in 1984 when his side beat Profund Warriors (NAPSA Stars), 2-1 in the Independence Cup final at Lusaka’s Independence Stadium in October of that year.
Warriors struck through Zambia forward Jack Chanda while the second goal was an own goal by beaten-finalists defender Aswell Nyendwa.
Profund’s consolation was converted courtesy of Ken Mwansa.
Three years later, Chomba, aged 23, savoured real success at Warriors when his team harvested a treble of the Premier league title, the Independence Cup for the second time and the champion of Champions Cup.
In winning the big one – the Premier League crown, chomba alongside fellow Gabon Air Disaster victim Whiteson Changwe in the back four, helped his side in emerging with the 4th meanest defence at the end of the season as Warriors conceded 31 goals in 26 matches behind 8th finishers Nkana Red Devils (23 goals), second-finishers Power Dynamos (26 goals) and 5th placed Ndola United who allowed in 27 goals.
Chomba’s 1987 Independence Cup victory with Warriors came in a 3-2 defeat of Power Dynamos, the team the Blues of Railway Ground would also edge out in the top-flight title race. Among the Warriors’ scores were Maxon Mugala and Linos Chisanga. Chomba’s success story at Warriors goes on…
The year 1988 saw Chomba and colleagues emerge victors only in the Charity Shield when they defeated Mutondo Stars 2-1 in a final played at Lusaka’s Independence Stadium with the one and only Timothy Mwitwa and Christopher Kunda sharing the spoils while Edward Chimba replied for the Premier League new entrants.
The 1990 season brought in two honours for the Zambia defender and his Warriors from the Railway Ground, winning the BP Challenge Cup and Champion of Champions Cup double.
The year 1991 was another successful season for the forceful defender and company, winning the BP Top 8 Cup as well as the Champion of Champions Cup trophies as a Second Division side, having been relegated the previous year from the elite league – the very first time that Warriors dropped from the top-flight since the becoming a member of the National Football League (NFL) in 1962.
Having won promotion back to their rightful place – the Premier League in 1992, it was to some huge celebration that Chomba and his team won a double of the Charity Shield as well as the Heroes and Unity Cup that year before the versatile player was consumed in the April 1993 Gabon plane crash that also took away the lives of 17 other players, two coaches, five Zambia Air Force crew as well as four FAZ support staff and a Zambia National Information Service (ZANIS) journalist.