Several people across the world have rocked the social media with heartfelt messages wishing Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango a ‘Happy Birthday’.
Through Facebook and Twitter people especially from the football fraternity have wished the Mamelodi Sundowns custodian the best on his day.
Mr. Safe Hands as many nicknamed him due to his fantastic saves, was born on May 15th 1985 in Nsambya, Kampala.
He kicked off his career at Jogoo young an SC Villa academy before being promoted to the senior team in 2004.
After a spectacular performance during the 2004/2005 season, he was signed by Ethiopian outfits St. George FC before being signed by SuperSport United.
Rise to prominence
Again, after one season at St. George, Denis Onyango’s rise to top-level was at higher pace and as a result, he joined South African Premier Soccer League side Supersport United on a four-year deal.
However, his contract wasn’t renewed upon it’s expiry and he was released by SuperSport United in July 2010.
On 26 July, Mpumalanga Black Aces signed free agent Onyango and he went on to feature in 16 games in his only season at the club.
His dream move
In 2011, Denis Onyango joined South African Premier Soccer League club Mamelodi Sundowns where he is up to date.
On 2nd August 2013, he made a loan move to league rivals Bidvest Wits. In July 2014 Mamelodi Sundowns exercised their option to extend Onyango’s contract by a year.
Onyango’s Cranes career
Onyango made his international debut for Uganda on 18 June 2005 World Cup qualifying match against Cape Verde.
From then Onyango became a regular for the Cranes beating competition from Hannington Kalyesubula and Posnet Omony.
Denis Onyango helped the Cranes qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations by conceding only two goals in six matches in their qualifying group.
He made his first appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in the 31st edition that was hosted by Gabon from 14 January 2017 to 5 February 2017.
He became captain of the national team in April 2017 following Geofrey Massa’s retirement days after 2017 Afcon.
He again led Uganda to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where Cranes managed to qualify for the knockout stages.
Onyango is renowned for his penalty-saving and his play in one-on-one situations. He is all-round, very consistent and a leader both on and off the pitch.
Denis Onyango’s achievements
Onyango won the PSL Goalkeeper of the Season award (best player in the South African top division) in the 2015–16 season and kept 14 clean sheets as Sundowns earned a record 71 points.
On 5 January 2017, he was voted the 2016 African-based African Player of the year at the CAF Awards held in Nigeria.
The final tally saw him pick up 252 votes, compared to 228 votes for second-placed Khama Billiat.
He won three Premier Soccer League titles for SuperSport United and three titles for his current club Mamelodi Sundowns.
He has also won one Nedbank Cup, one Telkom Knockout one CAF Champions League and one CAF Super Cup title for the Masandawana.
Happy birthday Denis Onyango, the dubbed Uganda’s best football export ever.
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