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The birth, rise and times of KCCA FC

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 19th July 2020 08:27 PM

The birth, rise and times of KCCA FC

KCCA FC have dominated the last five years of domestic football. File Photo

Thirteen-time Uganda Super League champions Kampala City Council Authority Football Club (KCCA FC) is currently the leading Ugandan football club, having won the league trophy 4 times in the last five seasons.

This is in addition to becoming the first club to reach the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup 2017 and the CAF Champions' League group stages 2018.

But not many of their fans and the general public know the origins of the club that was founded in 1963 by the late Samuel Wamala who was head of the Council's Sewage Works section in the City Engineering Department.

Apart from Simba FC that reached the finals of the CAF Champions Cup in 1972, Uganda football has since been measured as per KCC FC and SC Villa performances. When the standard of KCC and Villa went down it automatically followed the Cranes.

The surfacing of KCC FC in the Kampala and District Football League (KDFL) Third Division in 1965 was a humble one. The club had been founded in 1963 by the late Samuel Wamala who was head of the Council's Sewage Works section in the City Engineering Department.

The club initially was dominated by casual workers in the sewage section but subsequently expanded to cover all departments within Kampala City Council. It was initially mainly meant to cater to the recreation purposes for the council staff.

As a motivation and challenge the club enrolled and took the first plunge into the KDFL IN 1965.

The club finished sixth, missing promotion to the second division since there were only two zones A and B in the division. Only six teams (3 from each zone) were elevated.

In 1966 KCC went back into the league with more vigour in the South Zone of the third division and by the end of it all, KCC ranked second in that zone and thus earned a promotion to the second division.

However, due to the prevailing unrest in the country stretching to the early parts of 1967, several clubs withdrew from the league. Because of the pullout, it was decided that in preliminary competition to be held to find teams to fill the gap.

At the end of the competition, KCC was placed sixth and was among the teams which would play in the first division of Kampala and District Football League. It was evident that in a space of three years KCC FC had systematically managed to rise to the top bracket of the premier league.

In 1968, KCC kicked off the KDFL by beating Express in the first round and drawing in the second and also held both Prisons and Kampala District Bus Services to draws in round two. KCC also defeated Railways, UEB, and Nsambya in the second round but by the turn of 1971, KCC FC was pushed back to the second division.

 Jackson Mayanja
Jackson Mayanja is one of Uganda's biggest soccer stars to have played for KCC FC

By then two competitions were running concurrently, the National Football League and the Kampala District Football League, KCC only belonged to the latter, the former was the heavyweight.

The KDFL was scrapped to allow room for a wider competition with several divisions.

So KCC FC became a member of yet the newly formed second division of the National Football League along with NIC and Nsambya. KCC went through the distasteful seasons in the division until 1974 when the club, at last, won promotion to the super division where they have established a sound record.

After several years of agony in the troubled waters of the second division, and after ‘Mister' Bidandi Ssali serving as a coach and team manager had laid off several of the old guards' calibers and had recruited young blood like Jimmy Kirunda, George Mukasa, William Mindrea, Sam Musenze, Tom Lwanga, Ibrahim Magala, Samson Kaaya, Moses Nsereko, Emmy Mugerwa, Moses Ssentamu, Bedford Kityo, and John Sarwa to gang up with the ‘old-timers' like John Kabuye, and Mayanja Black, the club made tremendous improvement.

KCC FC then came out with a brand new style of football, full of short passes with freedom for natural skills; the club's style quickly won it some fans who wanted something new, far from the monotony of the veteran clubs and hence the birth of the famous ‘Kasasiro Style'.

In the first season, KCC finished in the second position by a single point behind champions Express FC. This was more than the club had anticipated and the following year they returned with even more vigour to win the league.

Current KCCA coach Mike Mutebi has won numerous titles. File Photo

In 1975, KCC competed highly for the league cup but they were again beaten by their arch-rivals Express at the end of the season by a similar margin and whereas they had celebrated finishing second the previous year, they regarded that year's second-place finish as a ‘failure'.

In 1976, KCC came back surging like buffaloes with only one set target of winning the league title, and to their expectations, they won it similarly beating Express by a point difference which was sweet for a club that was only three years in the super division.

The absence of Express following a ban in 1977 saw the tilting of the scale in KCC's favour who went on to easily win the title.

In 1978, Simba under the guidance of coach/player Polly Ouma broke KCC FC's dominance, winning the competition comfortably. But they could not represent the country the following year due to the obtaining instability in the country.

 The current crop of players at KCCA FC. File Photo
The current crop of players at KCCA FC. File Photo

Earlier KCC had won the East and Central Africa Club Championships held at Nakivubo, to become the first-ever club in the country to achieve such a feat.

Much as Simba went into disarray due to the security situation, KCC also had problems of their own as several senior players sneaked into the United Arab Emirates for professional football to create a yawning gap in the team.

Hussein Matovu, Jimmy Kirunda, Tom Lwanga, and Phillip Omondi while Timothy Ayiekho and Yusuf Toyota fled to Kenya due to the prevailing insecurity in the country.

UCB won that year's league with KCC FC settling for the Uganda Cup. In 1980, KCC finished third behind Nile and Nytil but took the knock out cup.

However, following the recruitment of youthful players such as Godfrey Kateregga, Sam Mugambe, and top-scorer Davis Kamoga in 1979, the club made an impact on the Uganda Cup winning the competition in 1979 having been awarded a walk-over for their match against Uganda Commercial Bank FC in the final.

Allan Okello, the newest star to emerge from the KCCA FC ranks. File Photo

The club enjoyed its untroubled days in the 1980s by winning the Uganda Cup in 1980, 1982, 1984 and 1987, and the league championship in the subsequent years in 1981, 1983, and 1985. The goal-scoring exploits of Davis Kamoga, with 21 goals in 1980, and 1985 Frank Kyazze, with 18 goals in 1984 and 28 goals in 1985, made a major contribution to the club's success.

KCC went on to take the Super League title in 1991 and 1997 and the Uganda Cup in 1990 and 1993. After the 1997 championship success there followed a period of administrative problems and upheaval including the appointment and sacking of a succession of coaches.

But the club is currently where they want to be and of late have made three appearances in the CAF Champions League in 1998, 2009 and 2018; four appearances in the CAF Cup in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2002; three appearances in the CAF Confederations Cup in 2005, 2009 and 2017 and finally seven appearances in the CAF Winners Cup before in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1991 and 1994.

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