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Busoga Kingdom to honour fallen Cranes goalkeeper

By James Bakama

Added 4th April 2016 07:40 AM

Dhaira’s body will from 4pm lie in state in the kingdom Lukiiko in Bugembe.

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Dhaira’s body will from 4pm lie in state in the kingdom Lukiiko in Bugembe.

Busoga Kingdom will in a special session on Tuesday honour Cranes star Abel Dhaira.

Dhaira’s body will from 4pm lie in state in the kingdom Lukiiko in Bugembe.

Dhaira last week lost a battle with abdominal cancer in Iceland.

“The Lukiiko session will be in recognition of his achievement not only for Uganda but also Busoga region,” explained Dhaira’s manager Faisal Mayemba.

Government is footing the bills of all the deceased’s burial arrangements. He will be laid to rest at his ancestral home in Mayuge on Wednesday.

Dahiara’s body arrived in Uganda on Sunday, one week after the former IBV Vestmannaeyjar goalkeeper died in Reykjavik.

According to the funeral program, there will be a service at All Saints Church in Kampala starting at 10am on Monday.

This will be followed by public viewing of the body from 1pm after which the casket will be taken to the deceased’s home Jinja.

There will be a night vigil at Abel’s father’s home in Walukuba.

At 10am Tuesday there will be a service at All Saints church Walukuba before public viewing of the body at Tobacco stadium.

After the Lukiiko session the body departs for Kigandalo, Mayuge for a night vigil. Burial will be at 2pm on Wednesday.

Mayemba who has has since childhood been a close friend of Dhaira, said he leaves behind no child or wife.

“He dedicated his entire life to football.” Even as he battled with cancer, his attachment with the national side was still strong.

His father Bright Dhaira, also a former Cranes goalkeeper, said his son even wished the Uganda Cranes victory in their game against Burkina Faso.

As a player, Dhaira leaves the soccer fraternity with many fond memories.

There was always an entertaining touch to his goalkeeping. Memories are also still fresh of his towering figure saving penalties.

One of these was in the 2011 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final in Dar es Salaam. After tying 2-2 in normal time with Rwanda, Dhaira starred in the shootouts as Uganda won 3-2.

He was back in the same competition the following year. But this time it all ended on a sad note with Dhaira being rushed to hospital after a goalmouth melee had him colliding with the post.

He started his career in what is referred to as Jinja’s Mecca of football-Walukuba, a locality that also produced talents like Cranes captain Geoffrey Massa and Moses Oloya.

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