Profile: life & times of Cranes legend Jimmy Kirunda

Jimmy Kirunda conducted the draws of the 1st edition of the FUFA Drum at the FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru

The Football family in Uganda and the world at large is still in shock following the sudden passing on of former Uganda Cranes captain and Manager Jimmy Kirunda.

Kirunda was pronounced dead on Monday, 25th May 2020 moments after collapsing at Bwaise in Kampala.

“The demise of Jimmy Kirunda will leave a huge gap in our game. He made his contribution on the pitch as a player, Manager, administrator and advisor. On the eve of the Uganda Cranes vs Comoros match in 2016, Kirunda and other legends of the 1978 AFCON Squad talked to the Cranes team on how they were on the verge to take Uganda back to the Continent. He will remain a legend of the game who contributed tirelessly with a good return of results on and off the pitch,” FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo.

Jimmy Kirunda (left) conducts one of the numerous pre-match customs as a Uganda Cranes captain

According to the family, the burial of the body remains will take place on Wednesday, 27th May 2020 at 2 PM at his ancestral home in Mayire, Bulesa – Kyadondo.

Victoria University

 “I was shocked because I spoke to him three hours before he was pronounced dead. He sounded very normal. When the news about the death broke, as FUFA and members of the football family, we ran very fast and establish the fact. We joined the family at Mulago. There is no best word that will describe Jimmy Kirunda than legend. He was a mentor to many, a real legend, a counselor and advisor.  He served as personal assistant to former FUFA President Dr Lawrence Mulindwa to the early years of Eng. Moses Magogo. Football has lost a real football legend,” FUFA CEO, Edgar Watson.

Kirunda has often frequented local and international matches for clubs and the Uganda Cranes, often advising youngsters on what should be done and how.

Jimmy Kirunda (2nd L) in the Uganda Cranes team. The legend passed on Monday

About Jimmy Kirunda:

•       Jimmy Kirunda was born in 1950 to late Henry Kirunda and Constance Nawalu at Mulago, a famous footballing hub in Uganda.

•       He held his elementary education at Mengo Primary School, Naggalama and later Old Kampala SSS.

•       Kirunda joined Mulago FC in 1965, before moving to Express, KCC and Sports Club Villa.

•       He played professional football at Abu Dhabi sports club in 1979, a year after skippering the Uganda Cranes to the AFCON final in Ghana.

•       Three league titles with KCC FC and one with S.C Villa in 1982 where they went the entire season unbeaten are just a few of many accolades the former Cranes team manager amassed in his career.

•       He captained Uganda for ten years and played in three Africa Cup of Nations (1974, 1976 & 1978)

•       He won the CECAFA Cup with Uganda (1969, 1970, 1973, 1976 & 1977)

•       As Cranes Team Manager, he won three CECAFA Cup titles (1989, 1990 & 1992)

•       He won three league titles with KCC (1976, 1977 and 1981) and two Uganda Cups (1980 & 1984)

•       He also won a league title with Villa (1982) and one Uganda Cup (1983)

•       His brothers William Kityo and Dick Bintanula played for KCC and Mulago respectively.

•       He top-scored the league in 1978 with 32 goals

•       He coached three clubs (Bell, Buikwe & Cooperative)

•       He returned to football in 1987 and featured for his Ngeye clan team

•       Worked at FUFA Secretariat in the office of former FUFA President Dr. Lawrence Mulindwa and current FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo on football matters before retiring in 2015.



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