The Angel of Death has struck humanity once again and the victim is none other than Jimmy Kirunda, a former Uganda Cranes player and manager.
Kirunda collapsed at Hotel La Grande in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb, on Monday. He was pronounced dead a few moments later.
“The legend Kirunda is gone. Rest in Peace,” FUFA eulogized.
Kirunda played in five Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification campaigns for Uganda.
He was captain for ten years and featured at three Africa Cup of Nations including the famous 1978 edition where Uganda Cranes lost to hosts Ghana 2-0 in the final match of the championship to take silver.
It is saddening that we have lost Uganda’s best ever footballer. He served the beautiful game with all his heart. This is heart breaking.Paul Ssali, goalkeeper of the outspoken 1978 Uganda Cranes team tearfully told to Kawowo Sports
Jimmy Kirunda’s Records
Kirunda won the CECAFA Cup with Uganda in 1969, 1970, 1973, 1976 and 1977.
As Uganda Cranes team manager, he won three CECAFA Cup titles (1989, 1990 & 1992).
He turned out for all the three ‘traditional’ clubs in Uganda; SC Villa, Express and KCCA.
At KCC, he won three league titles (1976, 1977 and 1981) and two Uganda Cup trophies (1980 & 1984).
His journey at SC Villa also saw him claim a league title (1982) and Uganda Cup (1983).
His brothers William Kityo and Dick Bintanula played for KCC and Mulago respectively.
Kirunda was top-scorer of the top-flight league in 1978 with 32 goals before he later coached clubs; Bell, Buikwe & Cooperative.
He returned to football in 1997 and played for Ngeye clan in the Bika Bya Baganda Football tournament.
By the time of his demise, Kirunda had been residing at his Mulago based home with another upcountry base at Busiika.
The details of burial preparation and send-off await to be communicated by the family.
Life of Legendary Jimmy Kirunda
Years of Active Club Football: Express FC (1968 – 1969), KCC FC (1969 – 1979), Abu Dhabi Sports (1979 – 1980), KCCA, SC Villa.
Managerial Career: He was in charge of SC Villa, Bell FC, KCCA FC, Buikwe Red Stars, Cooperative FC. He also coached Uganda Cranes from 1989 – 1996.