Residents gather at Geregere Safi playgrounds in Lugazi where Herbert Afayo collapsed and died on the spot

Thursday, 6th January 2022 started like any ordinary day.

It was business unusual when the Angel of Death struck at the Geregere Safi Playground in Lugazi, Buikwe District.

What started as a normal day in the life of defender Herbert Afayo, 21, ended in tears and true agony following a cardiac arrest (as per a postmortem report) during a training session.

Afayo and the rest of the teammates at Lugazi Municipal Council Football Club, a Buganda Regional League side, had turned up for the routine morning training session under head coach Dan Ssegawa.

Herbert Afayo during normal life

Like fate would dictate, Afayo landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge with the goalkeeper and died instantly.

“We are still in shock! Afayo (R.I.P) fell awkwardly after fighting for an aerial ball with the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper cleared the ball and upon landing, Afayo fell on his chest. We rushed there to provide first aid. His eyes had rolled over and we all worried. I held him in my hands and we offered the first aid but it was too late. He was pronounced dead as we approached the hospital. It is one of the most shocking moments in my life as a person,” Ssegawa revealed to Kawowo Sports.

Kawowo Sports has established that the deceased had weeks earlier had a bout of malaria and was treated.

Herbert Afayo

“He has grown up in my hands, he had no history of ill health as he was a very strong boy,” Ssegawa who handled him at St Julian High School – Gayaza stated.

He also studied at Janan High School and completed the A-level studies at Nakaseke International School.

Before joining Lugazi Municipal, Afayo also played at Western Uganda-based Ntoda Football Club.

Afayo will be laid to rest at the family’s ancestral village in Maracha District, West Nile region on Saturday, 8th January 2022.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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