By Sheldon Hakata
FORMER CAPS United and Warriors marksman Shacky Tauro grew up in the ghetto and was groomed at Zororo Youth Centre in Highfield, Harare.
He attended Rusvingo Primary School in Highfield and later joined Division Three League side CAPS Rovers (later CAPS United) at the age of 14 in 1972.
It is said Tauro notched a hat-trick on his first day at training.
The team’s promotion into the First Division in 1977 is credited to his goal-scoring proficiency.
After a distinguished youth career, at 20 years of age, a turning point came when he was drafted into the Zimbabwe national senior men’s football squad.
Tauro turned out to be a crucial member of the national team.
He had to get that national and global attention he felt was part of his destiny.
Zambian great footballers Peter Kaumba, Clyde Musonda and Godfrey Chitali failed to intimidate the young Tauro during the Independence Trophy match on April 21 1980.
Former Dynamos and Warriors midfielder David Mandigora scored the opener, before Tauro sprung up against Zambian goalie Peter Mwape to nod home the winner which saw the downfall of the northern neighbours at Rufaro Stadium.
Tauro was unanimously crowned Mr Strong Top Goal Scorer in 1982 after thumping in 28 goals.
Shackman ‘Mr Goals’ Tauro is one of the best attackers the country has ever created.
The ‘Mr Goals’ tag originated from his extraordinary goal scoring abilities.
Charlie Jones, who joined CAPS United in 1980 straight from school, said Tauro was an exceptional talent who would have easily made the grade in Europe.
He described Tauro as an easy-going character who, in a way, made life easy for the CAPS United front-runners of Stanley ‘Sinyo’ Ndunduma, Friday ‘Breakdown’ Phiri and himself (Charlie Jones).
“Tauro played with passion and his movement of the ball was way out of this world,” said Charlie Jones.
“He was a player who covered a lot of ground with the ability to score in every single game for 15 years.
“He could venture in any direction up-front and get a goal when least expected and was good both on the ground and in the air.”
Tauro led his team to an assortment of cup championships.
He was part of the CAPS United squad that clinched the Natbrew Castle Cup for four consecutive seasons.
Speaking to Patriot Sport, former CAPS United midfield expert Stanford ‘Stix’ Mtizwa recalled a game in which Zimbabwe Saints trio of Onius Musana, Max Tshuma and Ebson Muguyo, who also starred for Kaizer Chiefs had come for the Chibuku Trophy final match against CAPS United at Rufaro Stadium in 1979.
Said Mtizwa: “When Zimbabwe Saints were leading 3-2 into the dying minutes, a harmless looking cross from Kainos Chindungwe levelled the matters when least anticipated, to 3-3.
“Tauro was a total game changer and, instead of employing ‘curfew’ on Tauro, Gibson Homela (Zimbabwe Saints) ended up as a spectator.
“He could not stop the prowling youngster from scoring in the return game which CAPS United won.”
No doubt Tauro established himself as one of the most efficient strikers in football.
The nicknames ‘Bere’ or ‘Chinyaride’ were endorsed by fans.
Former Dynamos fullback Misheck ‘Scania’ Marimo, now Chidzambwa, had this to say about Tauro: “You could not leave him unattended or even go to sleep when playing against him.
“Dynamos lost 1-0 to bitter rivals CAPS United at Gwanzura Stadium in the quarter-finals of the 1979 BAT Rosebowl Cup in extra-time.
“It was an immense task keeping an eye on the elusive Tauro, unlike today’s strikers who need eight chances to score once.
“In this Gwanzura match, Tauro capitalised on a through pass to score past Laban Kandi with an unusual left-footer.”
Tauro was a lethal goal-poacher at home and abroad.
He was the main reason CAPS United humiliated many top teams in cup competitions.
This made CAPS United be known as ‘Cup Kings’.
Playing together with top midfielders, Mtizwa and the late maestro Joel ‘Jubilee’ Shambo, Tauro was a scoring machine.
Football fans who witnessed the 1970s and 1980s domestic league miss the slick striker and smartness of quality goals from Tauro.
He assisted the growth of teammates, goalkeepers Duncan ‘Ziko’ Ellison, Stephen Chisango, Stanley ‘Sinyo’ Ndunduma, Joel ‘Jubilee’ Shambo, Stanford ‘Stix’ Mtizwa, Tobias Moyo, Tobias Sibanda, Charles ‘Raw Meat’ Sibanda, Size Torindo, Batsirai Jambwa, Wisdom Mutemajiri, Friday ‘Amayenge’ Phiri and Mpumelelo ‘Era Muna’ Dzowa, to mention but a few.
Tauro was a goal-getter, but his dreams were shattered after suffering a serious knee injury.
The football magician had served his club and country well and will always be known as one of the country’s football’s finest and greatest goal poachers.
Indeed ‘Mr Goals’ was a prolific goal-getter and in a class of his own.
Born on June 28 1959, he passed on on June 17 2009.
May his soul rest in peace!