On his good day, no midfielder could dominate his side in the centre of pack. He was versatile that he could offer you the same service in defensive as well as offensive midfield positions. Born and bred in Entebbe to Mr Charles Ssetuba 38 years ago, Mutyaba followed in the footsteps of his father who played for Express FC in 1960.
Mutyaba went to Entebbe Primary school for his primary education, Entebbe Parents and Entebbe Secondary school for his education before joining Nkumba College of Commerce (current Nkumba University) where he completed his studies.
Mutyaba started his career in football at Entebbe Works FC from where he was summoned to represent Uganda in the Africa U-18 youth Championships in Sudan in 1990.
The following year, he tried to join the Red eagles as a trainee Godfrey Nyola advised him to concentrate on books instead of football. By then, he was still a student at Nkumba.
Joining Express FC:
In 1992, the late coach David Otti (RIP) accepted his wish and granted him the opportunity to train with the team. The young Mutyaba impressed in sessions but had to wait till January 22nd, 1993 to make his debut against Sudanese giants El Hilal in the Cecafa club Championship. He made a winning debut as the Wankulukuku side won the game 2-1 in a game he also netted.
He continued to impress in the tournament scoring in the game against Simba SC of Tanzania but could not help his team past another Tanzanian side Yanga FC in the semi-finals.
That same year, Mutyaba scored in the 2-0 win over El Merrickh of Sudan in the Africa champions league but it was too little too late as Express FC bowed out on a 2-3 aggregate.
Nevertheless, the club managed to lift the league title that year as a consolation though he made less appearances as the experienced pairing of Kennedy Lubogo and Newton Kavuma in the middle of the pack.
1994 was the year when Mutyaba fully commanded a starting place in the team. He was an integral part of the team that won the Kakungulu Cup (current Bell Uganda Cup) and converted his spot kick in the finals as Express FC beat KCC FC 5-3 after a goal less 120 minutes.
Despite losing the league title to rivals SC Villa, Mutyaba was also instrumental for his club scoring as well as creating goals. His memorable strikes in the league that season came against KCC FC and Nsambya FC.
Still in 1994, Mutyaba helped Express Fc reach the finals of the Cecafa Club Championship (current Kagame Cup) where they lost to El Merrick of Sudan.
Miraculous 1995 season:
This is a season that will forever remain in memories of many an Express fan and the followers of Ugandan club football in general. The season that had what is still termed as the golden generation of the Red eagles. During this season, Express FC won a league and cup double with Mutyaba scoring an extra time winner against Posta FC in the finals of Kakungulu cup.
Mutyaba also helped Express FC reach the semi-finals of the Africa Champions league by scoring the goal against FC Dynamo that eliminated the Zimbabwean side. However, he could not guide the side past South African giants Orlando Pirates which eliminated Express FC 2-3 on aggregate at Nakivubo Stadium.
To make matters worse, Express FC also lost to Simba SC of Tanzania in the finals of the Cecafa Cup.
The following year, he helped Express FC defend their league title and also won the Kakungulu Cup in 1997 but lost the league title to KCC FC.
After the 1997 season, Mutyaba decided to leave Express FC for rivals SC Villa following allegations that he no longer respected top administrators at Wankulukuku. He signed for the Villa Park side for a fee believed to be Shs 5 million.
At SC Villa:
After joining Paul Hasule’s side, the midfielder formed a deadly combination with Edgar Watson (current Fufa CEO) and Dan Mubiru (Mu japan) in the middle of the pack guiding the club to the league and cup double in his first season at the club. The trophies ended SC Villa’s four year trophy drought.
He made several assists and also managed to bag five goals with only league top scorer Charles Kayemba (12 goals), Hassan Mubiru and Andrew Mukasa ahead of him on the club’s scoring charts. Among the teams whose defences he bleached was KCC FC.
Falling in the pecking order:
Mutyaba started the 1999 season in hot form but towards its end, Coach Paul Hasule resorted to the young and speedy Hakim Magumba as his first choice attacking midfielder. This didn’t go well with Mutyaba who believed was better than Magumba and despite winning the league title, he decided to leave the club for paid ranks in Oman with Fanja FC.
Express FC return:
Following a short stint in Oman, the midfielder made a return to his childhood club Express FC in 2000 and was part of the side beat SC Villa 2-1 in the finals of the Kakungulu cup in 2001.
Mutyaba still considers his stint in Oman as among the saddest moments in his career because he suffered an injury that threatened to end his career.
At URA FC:
Following his three year spell at Express FC, the midfielder crossed to Uganda Revenue Authority FC where he won the Kakungulu Cup in 2005 after defeating KCC FC in the finals.
After the season, Mutyaba moved to Vietnam and joined Quangnam FC but he called it quits after suffering an injury that un ceremoniously ended his career.
Uganda Cranes Career:
Despite making a scoring debut on the national team, Mutyaba never really established himself in the team. The midfielder made his debut on 15th October, 1994 as Uganda walloped Ethiopia 4-1 with Mutyaba joining the scoring debutants with the opener.
He was also part of the Uganda Cranes side that lost the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup title to Tanzania later that year. Unfortunately, Mutyaba missed the decisive penalty in the finals that would have won Uganda the title. On a good note though, he finished the tournament with three goals to his name.
His chance to win the Cecafa cup came in 1996 when Uganda Cranes lifted the title in a tournament that was held in Khartoum, Sudan.
In the 1998 Afcon qualifier tie against Algeria, it was his hard shot that deflected off the late Magid Musisi to hit the back of the net for a goal that earned Uganda a 1-1 draw against the Desert Warriors.
Mutyaba was also part of the team that lost to Tunisia 0-6 and 0-3 in an Afcon qualifier in 1998 and the side that drew 1-1 with Egypt in 1995.
What Mutyaba says about his career;
“I thank God for the time i played football. It is a great honour and i had many beautiful moments though scoring on my Express FC and national team debuts beats the rest.
My worst moments in the game are the injuries i suffered in Oman and Vietnam plus missing clear cut chances against Dynamo Powers of Zimbabwe while playing for Express FC and against Tanzania’s Simba while at Villa. It still haunts me up to now.
I scored many goals but my best came against El Merrick. Of the players i played with, i can point to Jackson Mayanja, Paul Hasule and Magid Musisi as those with special talents but of course i played with many good players”, he told Kawowo Sports in an exclusive interview
Joseph Mutyaba Fact File:
– He played for Entebbe Works FC, Express FC, SC Villa, Fanja FC (Oman), URA FC Quangnam FC (Vietnam),
– He won one Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup with the Uganda Cranes in 1996
– He won five league titles in 1993, 1995 & 1996 (Express FC) and 1998 & 1999 (SC Villa)
– He won six Kakungulu Cup medals with Express FC (1994, 1995, 1997 & 2001), SC Villa (1998) and URA FC (2005).
– He is among the few Ugandans that have scored on their national team debut.
– He also scored on his Express FC debut
Article Credit: Hassan Bdru Zziwa – TheObserver Media Ltd, Joseph Mutyaba, Ntege Nyindo – Express FC fan since 1989, New Vision and Daily Monitor Archives.