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Stars who joined their fiercest rivals (Part II)

Former Express players in the 1990s. Left to Right: Richard Kirumira, Kefa Kisala and Joseph Mutyaba

Former Express players in the 1990s. Left to Right: Richard Kirumira, Kefa Kisala and Joseph Mutyaba

This is a continuation of last week’s piece about local footballers who left their clubs to join fierce rivals. 


His transfer to SC Villa from KCCA in 1991 nearly turned bloody. KCCA, who were paying Mukasa’s school tuition at St Henry’s College Kitovu, blocked the move claiming the ownership of the youthful striker.

Both clubs engaged in battle of words for more than a year. It was in July, 1992 when Fufa released him to Villa.


The forward left Express in 1969 and joined Coffee. However, just minutes before a league game between the two sides in 1971, Kirungi stunned the Coffee Curers when he lined up as an Express player at Nakivubo stadium.

It turned out that Express boss Jolly Joe Kiwanuka had brokered the deal behind the scenes.


The talented Villa striker was one of the best of his era but in 2002, he shocked the Villa faithful when he joined Express. The striker, who had emerged league top scorer in 1999 and 2000, flopped at Wankulukuku


He was adored by Coffee FC fans but that love turned to hate when the midfielder signed for KCC in 1981. As a result of this controversial move, matches between both teams became heated than before.


The industrious midfielder spent six years at Express under the watchful eye of Express fierce rivals SC Villa, who tried to lure him to Villa Park in 1995 but Express played hard ball and blocked him.

In December 1997, Mutyaba officially indicated his will to play for SC Villa. After a series of protracted negotiations, both clubs agreed on the move after the Red Eagles accepted SC Villa’s ‘undisclosed fee.’ Express could later re-sign Mutyaba in 2001.


He joined SC Villa in 1982 from Coffee FC but the striker had limited games due to studies and injuries. In 1983 when SC Villa signed KCCA striker Davis Kamoga, KCCA returned the favour by acquiring Kyazze. He went on to emerge the league top scorer in 1984 and 1985 seasons.


By the early eighties, Express’ rivalry with SC Villa was already fierce. Ndaula’s transfer from SC Villa to Exxpress in 1984 heightened the situation. The back-and-forth fight him meant that he spent a year without kicking a ball until 1985 when Express unconditionally signed him.


He was the KCCA talisman and a fan favourite at Lugogo. He switched to Algeria’s Paradou in 2020 but the attacking midfielder returned to Lugogo on loan in 2023.

A few months later, KCCA faithful were shocked when Okello signed for Vipers.


His best years came with Express after moving from Mukono-based side Lufula FC in 1981. The creative midfielder put up consistent performance in the 1982 and 1983 seasons, something which opened the eyes of rival clubs.

It was Coffee which grabbed him in 1984, a move which earned Omba endless fan abuse each time Coffee played Express.


The big defender was a popular player at KCCA in the 1990s and was a big part of the club’s rebuilding process under coach Mike Mutebi.

But when the towering defender asked KCCA to meet his huge financial obligations, they couldn’t and in a blink of an eye, he switched to Express in 1996.


His move from KCCA to Villa left a bitter taste at Lugogo and intensified the rivalry between the two clubs. As if that was not enough, Villa returned to KCCA a year later and signed talented prospect Sam Mukasa.


He was the Express FC key player when The Reds won back-to-back league titles in 1974 and 1975. However, Express was left fuming when Ayiekoh decided to join KCCA FC. Interestingly, his move helped KCCA to also win back-to-back league trophies in 1976 and 1977.


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