Born in a diehard Express F.C family, he never played for the Red eagles and opted to play for and support KCC F.C instead. His late father Prince Nakibinge William Blasio (R.I.P) used to go with him to Express games so as to attract him to the club but it wasn’t to be. According to Ssimbwa, he watched so much of German soccer on Uganda Television (UTV) now Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and admired their fluid passing game and says that it was only KCC F.C that came close to that “A” game in Uganda thus opting to support it pointing out Phillip Omondi and Moses Nsereko as the key men in that short crisp passing game (kawowo).
AT SCHOOL AS A FOOTBALLER: Ssimbwa went to Jinja Karoli
Primary School where he was a versatile star and later joined Kitante Hill School in 1980 but his star somehow diminished as he dipped in form. However, he regained his form in the 1984 Inter – Schools competition and his classic displays caught the attention of National Youth Coach George Mukasa who summoned him. Kibuli Secondary School games tutor Badru Ssentongo was forced to secure the young Ssimbwa a bursary for his A-level education . On joining Kibuli, he was a key addition to the school team and was appointed the skipper and never dissapointed. It was a bursary well spent.
KK COSMOS MOVE: In 1986, Jinja based side KK Cosmos came calling and their offer attracted the 19 year old Kibuli Student and thus signed his first licence as a footballer. He made his debut in the super mini league held in Jinja and played some nice football through out the tournament though his side didn’t manage to qualify for super league.
JOINING KCC F.C: His form in the super mini league attracted the attention of then KCC Chairman Jack Ibare (R.I.P) who had also watched the lad play for Kibuli on a number of occasions before. He influenced the late Moses Nsereko (R.I.P), the Coach of the Yellow boys who recruited Ssimbwa in 1987 joining a host of youngsters that included Mayanja Jackson and Adam Ssemugabi among others. He made his KCC F.C debut in the 2-1 loss to Buikwe Red Stars. His second game was a 3-0 win over Nile F.C where his fantastic display saw him set up Jackson Mayanja twice to score. The third goal was scored by Frank Kyazze.
During that season, he helped KCC F.C to Uganda Cup Championship after defeating SC. Villa in the finals. In 1988, Ssimbwa formed a deadly midfield partnership with George Nsimbe, Charles Ssenyange and Mayanja Jackson. Nevertheless, many KCC fans began hating him because of his over dribbling and over carrying the ball and booed him in some games. This didn’t deter his Coach Nsereko to encourage him do it more and he later developed a knack for defence splitting passes that helped the team to score lots of goals.
In 1989, FUFA revived the regional Championship and Ssimbwa played for Kampala region under Coach Timothy Ayiekho who shifted him to the right side of midfield and he tormented left backs mercilessly. In 1990, he scored a wonderful free kick in the 1-0 win over rivals Express F.C in the first round of the league. Despite failure to lift the league title that season, Ssimbwa helped the Yellows to Uganda Cup after thrashing SC. Villa 3-0 in the finals courtesy of a brace from Mayanja Jackson and a goal from Isa Ssekatwa. Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) voted him the Country’s Footballer of the Year. He was also an integral member of the 1991 league title winning side but also a culprit as he missed a spot kick in the Kakungulu Cup quarter finals against Nile F.C.
BECOMES KCC SKIPPER: In 1991, he was handed the captain’s arm band. In April that year, KCC F.C travelled to Maseru Lesotho to take on Arsenal (Lesotho side) in the African Club Championship. With the hosts confortably leading 2-0, Ssimbwa picked up a loose ball a few metres from the centre line and went to to score a precious away goal. The Yellow boys went on to win the return leg 1-0 at Nakivubo stadium to advance to next stage.
In 1993, he helped KCC F.C to Kakungulu Cup triumph but his season was hampered by injury and missed the 1994 season. 1n 1995, the skipper went to Cyprus for operation but when he returned, he failed to regain his form and this was witnessed when Nile F.C thumped KCC 2-0 courtesy of two Ssimbwa mistakes. The sweeper asked to be substituted but Coach Paul Ssali refused and to many spectators’ suprise, he walked off the pitch in what happened to be his last game for the club.
UGANDA CRANES CAREER: He made his Cranes’ debut in 1989 as a late substitute against Kenya in CECAFA hosted in Nairobi in which he created Umar Ssenoga’s consolation in the 2-1 loss to the hosts. Uganda went on to win the Championship. In September 1990, Sam Ssimbwa tormented Zaire’s left back Makonga Kasongo in the 2-1 win in a group 8 AfCON qualifier in one of his best games for the Cranes. He was instrumental in the 1990 Cecafa winning side scoring in the 2-0 win over Sudan. Magid Musisi scored the other goal.
1n 1992, he was also part of the title winning side in Tanzania but quit the national team in 1993 due to injury. Statistics indicate that over 70% of goals scored by Magid Musisi were either assisted by Sam Ssimbwa or Sula Kato. In 1996, Sam Ssimbwa left for a coaching course in Germany and has since completion of his course, he has coached many teams including KCC F.C, Military Police, Sofakapa in Kenya and he is the current Coach of Express F.C. He also played for Mbale heroes as a Coach player at Mbale Heroes between 1999 and 2000.
SAM SSIMBWA FACTFILE:
He played for only three clubs: KK Cosmos (1986), KCC F.C (1987-1995) and Mbale Heroes (1999 – 2000).
He never received a red card in his entire playing Career but has been dismissed from the technical bench as Coach on three occasions including one this season.
He won six titles as a player in his career. A league title (1991), two Kakungulu Cup titles (1987 and 1993) and three CECAFA Championships with the Cranes (1989, 1990 and 1992).
He has won two titles as a Coach one a piece with Mbale Heroes (1999) and Express (2007).
He has Coached a number clubs. Health (1998), Mbale Heroes (1999 – 2000), Masaka L.C (2001), Military Police ( 2002), KCC F.C ( 2002 and 2009), Top T.V (2003 – 2004), Atraco (2006), Express F.C (2007 & 2011 -Update), Simba SC (2008), Sofakapa (2009 – 2010).