In wheelchair, former Zimbabwe player Peter Ndlovu mourns brother Adam following crash

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Former Premier League player and Zimbabwe forward Peter Ndlovu appeared in a wheelchair Saturday at the funeral of his brother Adam, a week after the pair were involved in a high speed car crash in northeast Zimbabwe.

The 39-year-old Ndlovu, who played for Coventry, Birmingham, Huddersfield and Sheffiled United before returning to African club football in 2004, had both legs in casts after fracturing them and injuring his chest in the crash Sunday. The 42-year-old Adam and a 24-year-old woman travelling with them died in the crash near the resort of Victoria Falls.

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Adam Ndlovu played in Switzerland for seven years, ending with FC Zurich in 2001. He was a top coach in Zimbabwe at the time of his death on Sunday.

More than 5,000 mourners, fellow football players and political leaders thronged the private cemetery in the western city of Bulawayo.

Ndlovu was consoled at the graveside by his former wife, singer Sharon Dee. He was brought to the Lady Stanley Cemetery from Bulawayo's Mater Dei hospital.

Witnesses said downtown Bulawayo came to a standstill for a second day on Saturday for the funeral procession after parades and mass gatherings at the city's main football stadium on Friday.

The former opposition party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in a shaky coalition with longtime President Robert Mugabe, had called for Adam Ndolu to be conferred with the official status of a national hero, but Mugabe's party said that status could only be awarded to political leaders and fallen guerillas in the bush war that led to independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe's party donated food and money for the funeral ceremonies, which critics called a publicity ploy in one of Tsvangirai's urban strongholds.

The brothers were among Zimbabwe's highest-earning and most popular sports personalities. Adam coached a league team sponsored by a fast food chain that also trucked in food and supplies for mourners converging on Bulawayo from across the country.

The female passenger, Nomqhele Tshuli, was buried in a small family ceremony in western Zimbabwe on Thursday. The luxury BMW sports utilty vehicle in which they were travelling veered off the highway and slammed into trees shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday after a suspected tire burst.

During his career at Birmingham, Peter Ndlovu scored 28 goals in 137 appearances. He earned 100 caps for Zimbabwe and is still the nation's all-time best goal scorer with 38 goals.

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