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Obituary: late Fred Kajoba dedicated his life to football

RIP: Fred Kajoba

RIP: Fred Kajoba

When news of Fred Kajoba’s death filtered through the country on Monday afternoon, time stood still.

The former Coffee SC goalkeeper, who later on coached Simba, Bright Stars and Vipers, was an affable person. He impacted on the lives and careers of many both as a player and coach.

He was 54 at the time of his passing, which has been attributed to a longstanding problem with diabetes. At the time of his sudden death, he was working at Tanzanian club Ihefu alongside another Ugandan, Matia Lule.

Before yesterday’s StarTimes Uganda Premier League matches involving SC Villa-URA and Mbarara-BUL, there was a minute’s silence in honour of Kajoba and his distinguished service to the game.

Nearly every UPL club posted a message on its X handle mourning the death of Kajoba, who was a fine goalkeeper in his heyday and also kept goal for the Uganda Cranes.

Former Cranes captain Denis Onyango posted a poignant message having worked closely with him while on national duty. He called him a ‘fatherly figure, brother, friend and a patriotic Ugandan.’

“He was a perfect gentleman and I’ll never forget how important this man was to me during my playing time with the Uganda Cranes. His departure will leave a vacuum in the goalkeeping department. We will sorely miss him,” Onyango said on his X handle.

There were similar messages posted by goalkeeper Jamal Salim Magoola, Hassan Wasswa and Murushid Juuko. Former Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic worked closely with Kajoba, and called him a legend ‘who will never die.’ Kajoba was part of the technical team, under Micho, that guided Uganda Cranes to a first Africa Cup of Nations qualification in 39  years.

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