By: Elias Kayondo
Born on July, 7, 1959, Express fc also known as “MUKWANO GWABANGI” and sometimes “THE RED EAGLES” is deteriorating at a time its supposed to shine even brighter.
Express fc is one the oldest football clubs in Uganda’s history having been founded in 1959 by the managers of Uganda Express, a leading newspaper of the time.
The leading architects of the club’s foundation were , the late Jolly Joe Kiwanuka ,Paul Ssengendo ,Hannington Kiwanuka , Bishop Dustan Nsubuga , Dr Banabas Kiwanuka and Gaster Nsubuga.
In 1964, the club joined the Kampala District Football League( KDFL) and won Division one championship with the leading top scorer Ali Kitonsa getting to the score sheet a record 54 times.
The “red eagles” as they are sometimes referred to are six time league champions having won their first League title in 1974, then in 1975, 1993,1995, 1996 and the most recent title in 2011-2012.
It should be noted that it is Express fc which gave birth to the present day ScVilla.
In the early 1980’s Nakivubo boys which had for long been a youth side for Express fc turned into an independent club. It changed the name to Nakivubo Villa and later sports club Villa.
Express fc is also a pride holder of 10 Uganda Cup trophies. That is ; in 1985, 1991, 1992,1994, 1995, 1997,2001,2002-2003, 2006 and 2006-2007.
The club has also appeared a record six times in the CAF club championships, twice in the CAF confederations cup and five appearances in the CAF winners’ cup.
They have also finished twice runners up in the Cecafa clubs’ cup in 1994 and 1995.
With all the above in mind , it is quite that the once powerful soccer empire in Uganda and Africa at large is now headed for doom.
The might that Express fc once had is no more. It is slowly diminishing in terms of performance. Gone are the days when league clubs cursed the day they were meant to play against the then “Mighty Express”
Even before the league break, this season the once unbreakable Express fc has lost 8 games, drawn 2 and won only 3. Gathering a total of only 11 points from 13 games.
“It is quite unfortunate, it is so worrying something has to be done.”
Said Isaac Nkaada (Iron man) former defender and captain at the club.
HOW CAN EXPRESS RECOVER ?
It should be in every football fan’s interest in Uganda to see Express re-organise and pick up the broken pieces regardless of club affiliation.
“The glory of FC (Express fc) must be restored for a better league and national team”
Said FUFA President Engineer Moses Magogo before he added that as a Villa fan, his joy is beating a strong Express fc.
He went ahead to call upon all football lovers to raise and do something to revive the glory of the once soccer power house,he said;
“Let the entire football community support FUFA and the FC management in the cause”
Ex international Isaac Nkaada also stressed the need for team work at the club , as he put it ;
“There is need for the current club management to bring on board all stakeholders in including we the former players, fans coaches and the players to devise means of improving our club performance. Such is the team work we need at Wankulukuku.”
The club youth structure is known as Wembley. It has been very instrumental in player development and nurturing talents. Muzeyi Daniel Sserunkuma (Formerly at Gormahia in Kenya), Shafik Bakaki(Vipers sc), Simon Sserunkuma(Sc villa), Yayo Lutimba (Sc Vipers) and most recently Omar Hitmana (Express fc) among others have all gone through the ranks at Wembley. Other players like George Ssimwogerere, Phillip Obwinyi , Livingstone Mbabazi and many more have all played at this great club.
Express fc is undoubtedly a giant in Ugandan football. It is a duty to all football loving Ugandans to find all possible avenues to help the club revive its glory.
The passionate fans should remain calm and supportive to the team in all aspects.
The club administration should be simple , polite and patient.
The coaches and players must be more hardworking and result oriented.
Players must be trusted and motivated to deliver.