Jimmy Kirunda – Uganda’s best defender ever deceases
Uganda’s football fraternity was left paralyzed after receiving the news of football legend Jimmy Kirunda’s death.
Jimmy Kirunda collapsed in Bwaise a Kampala suburb near Hotel La Grande on Monday 25th May 2020 and was pronounced dead moments later.
According to sources in Bwaise, Kirunda was going to pay electricity bills before collapsing due to heart failure.
Kirunda was born to the late Henry Kirunda and Constance Nawalu in 1950 and grew up in Mulago. He died at the age of 70.
The Life of Jimmy Kirunda
Jimmy Kirunda went to Naggalama Islamic and Old Kampala SS where he showed a lot of promise then.
In 1969, Jaberi Badandi Ssali who was the then head coach of KCC got impressed with his abilities and he lured him to Lugogo.
Rise to prominence
After joining KCC FC, Kirunda formed a great partnership with the current Club Director and legend Tom Lwanga both at the club and at Uganda Cranes.
KCC commenced a trophy haul in 1976 when they won the first league title, Kirunda was a very important figure in the club’s title run-in.
He went on to help the team successfully defend the league in 1977 and later CECAFA Club Championship in 1978
Jimmy Kirunda, the high scoring defender
In 1978, Kirunda emerged as the top scorer with 32 goals in 28 games, a record that stood for 21 years before it was broken by Andrew ‘Fimbo’ Mukasa in 1999.
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However, it should be noted that Kirunda was scoring from defence compared to Andrew ‘Fimbo’ Mukasa who was a striker.
He won three league titles with KCC in 1976, 1977 and 1981 and two Uganda Cups of 1980 and 1984.
In 1982, he left KCC to join town rivals SC Villa and guided them to their first league title, winning the championship unbeaten.
During SC Villa’s unbeaten season, he scored 13 goals for them.
He won a league title with SC Villa in1982 and one Uganda Cup in 1983.
Uganda Cranes Captaincy
Kirunda captained Uganda Cranes at three consecutive editions of Africa Cup of Nations in 1974, 1976 and 1978.
In 1978, he led Uganda Cranes to the Africa Cup of Nations final in Ghana, the Nation’s best performance up to date.
He won the Cecafa Cup with Uganda on five occasions in 1969, 1970, 1973, 1976 and 1977.
Kirunda was nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’ (The Emperor) due to his elegant style, dominance.
His leadership on the field as a defender was highly rated yet he was equally as good going forward.
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