Footballer earns move thanks to spell at Kilmarnock that didn't happen

Zimbabwean footballer Tinotenda Chibharo earned a contract in the Serbian second tier last year after impressing on trial.

Tinotenda Chibharo pictured in a Kilmarnock training top. Picture: UGC
Tinotenda Chibharo pictured in a Kilmarnock training top. Picture: UGC

He was able to secure a move to Sloboda Uzice after the club were alerted to his availability following his release from Kilmarnock.

His spell at Rugby Park, where he played 18 times, including an appearance at Celtic Park, came after he impressed in English non-league football following his release by Manchester City, where he captained the under-21s during Roberto Mancini’s time in charge.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

It’s all very normal. However, most of it didn’t happen.

Chibharo "playing" and "captaining" Manchester City's under-21s (note the guy in the background on the pitch). Picture: UGC

Chibharo does play in the Serbian second tier, but the claims about his history in the game are simply not true.

This didn’t stop newspapers in his homeland from reporting on his progress, both with City and Kilmarnock.

Any keen Scottish football fan would be able to tell you that Kilmarnock have not had the name Tinotenda Chibharo on their books in recent seasons. And club historian John Livingston confirmed they’ve never had such a player - even as a trialist.

He told the Daily Record: “I attended my first game aged 14 months in 1954 and his is not a name I’ve ever heard of.

“I get feedback from the manager on players who’ve maybe played one hour as a trialist. I have no record of him in that category.”

Apparently Sloboda Uzice are happy to keep the player on despite the apparent deception, having been sufficiently impressed by the player in his seven appearances in the latter half of last season (these ones do exist).