Sunday September 10 2017

Ex-Cranes star Lucha passes on

Matthew Lucha

Matthew Lucha 

By Andrew Mwanguhya

KAMPALA. Former Uganda Cranes international Matthew Lucha passed on Friday night in Jinja after a long illness. He died aged 58.
Faisal Mohamed, JMC Hippos club patron and one of the most influential administrators in the district’s football confirmed the news of Lucha’s demise the same night. “Very sad Lucha has passed on,” he said.
Turning out for Black Eagles, SC Villa and Nile FC, Lucha was one of the most influential midfielders of his generation.
According to celebrated sports journalist Hassan Badru Zziwa, Lucha “could cover the length of the field, tackling, intercepting, and driving himself as hard as ever without getting tired. He kept it up right to the end of every game.”
Lucha, however, won only one major title as player, the 1980 league with Nile FC. But he reached the final of the 1982 Uganda Cup and made the final of Cecafa Cup with Cranes the same year.
Despite his assertive play, he was never necessarily dirty. He got only one red card in his career, which came in a friendly game between Uganda and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa in April 1983.
As a coach, he guided Nile to the final of 1991 Uganda Cup, losing to Express 1-0. He also secured Nile FC promotion to the Super league in 1992.
Lucha was born in July 1959 to the late Marino Okot and Deresia Adwar of Kitgum District.