ENTEBBE – Retired Uganda Cranes captain, Denis Masindi Onyango must be one of the fewest lucky footballers to have enjoyed and gained from donning national team colours.
President Yoweri Museveni rewarded Onyango, 36 with a brand new Sports Utility Vehicle – SUV for his 15-year uninterrupted service to the country at a function held on Thursday at State House – Entebbe.
First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni, who doubles as the Education and Sports Minister; Hamson Obua – the sports portfolio minister; Fufa boss – Moses Magogo as well as Onyango’s mum were some of the notable guests in attendance.
Onyango who plies his trade at South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, unceremoniously quit The Cranes’ team last month, after 15 years as Uganda’s custodian – where he led the country to two successive
Afcon finals, in addition to ‘hoisting’ the national flag as his team participated in numerous continental competitions as well as an appearance at the prestigious Fifa Club World Cup championship in 2016 – the same year he had helped his team in winning the Caf Champions League.
Onyango was also named the 2016 African based Africa Player of the year – demonstrating since then, to be one of the best goalkeepers in the World – and upon announcing his retirement, President Museveni invited him at State House – Entebbe – a place he left driving a Mitsubishi Outlander – Sport valued at Ugx300 million.
As Onyango officially retired from The Cranes on April 12, statistics showed that he had made over 70 appearances for the national team since 2005.
Besides President Museveni’s honour at State House, Onyango will on Friday, turn up at the parliamentary gallery to witness as legislators will debate his contribution towards the development of the sport in the country. Thereafter, he will embark on the journey back to South Africa ahead of his team’s local league engagement against TS Galaxy on Sunday.
Uganda will start their post-Onyango era in the forthcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which Fifa rescheduled from June to September. The Cranes are pooled against neighbours Rwanda and Kenya as well as Mali in Group E.