There are hundreds of miles between the residence of Lucy Onyai (mother to teenage footballer Raymond “Derrick” Onyai) from the employment area of his son.
Onyai, a budding footballer is employed at Mbarara City Football Club in Western Uganda and the mother stays a distant miles away in West Nile district of Nebbi.
The distance aside, the parties are in constant communication via the telephone calls and the contemporary WhatsApp means.
When Onyai scored a hat-trick in Mbarara City’s comprehensive 8-3 victory at Kakyeka Stadium in Mbarara on Friday, 14th February 2020, the youngster straight away remembered the mother.
“I want to dedicate the hat-trick scored to my mother who stays in Nebbi district. She has supported me virtually through every thick and thin moments” he noted.
Onyai’s hat-trick was the first in competitive football for the Ankole Lions since the club’s inception.
The former KCCA Academy player who studied at Amus College in Bukedea and later signed for Mbale based Kataka Football Club has also heaped special praise to the members of the technical team led by Brian Ssenyondo, his fellow players and the fans for the support and encouragement.
“Football is a collective sport. I cannot take all the bragging rights alone minus my coaches particularly the head coach (Brian Ssenyondo) and his support staff, fellow players, the fans, media and everyone who has supported me morally and otherwise” he added.
Mbarara City humbled Moyo based Faith, Hope and Love (FHL) 9-0 in a completely one-sided duel to progress to the round of 16 where they are assured of some money as well from the sponsors, Stanbic Bank.
Besides Onyai’s three goals, striker Brian Aheebwa scored twice before Solomon Okwalinga, debutant Ibrahim Magandazi, South Sudanese import Wol Makueth and defender Ronald Otti each added a goal apiece.
Sadly, Mbarara City played the entire second half a man following a red card to midfielder Steven Kabuye towards the close of business for the opening stanza.
Now, Mbarara City eagerly awaits the draw for the round of 16 stage to determine the next opponent in line.