STATE HOUSE | ENTEBBE: President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni have rewarded goalkeeper Denis Onyango with a brand new luxurious 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross vehicle –for his remarkable Cranes career.
The former Cranes captain was presented with the hybrid car as a thank-you at State House Entebbe on Thursday.
The classy grey coloured gift comes weeks after the 35-year-old goalkeeper decided to call time on his 16-year international career.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from international football. After much consideration, my family, managers and I, decided it was in my best interest to hang my gloves on my beloved Cranes. Big thanks to every Ugandan over the years,” Onyango stated while announcing his retirement on April 12.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross costs over sh100m and features several “firsts” for the automaker, most notably its 1.5-liter turbo-4 engine.
President Museveni has in recent years offered luxurious cars to Stephen Kiprotich, Joshua Cheptegei, and Stella Chesang for their impressive performances at global championships.
Onyango also received a souvenir frame fitted with his Cranes shirt.
State Ministers Hamson Obua (Sports), Nakiwala Kiyingi (Youth and Children Affairs), National Council of Sports (NCS), and Uganda Olympics Committee (UOC) chairman Donald Rukare and FUFA president Moses Magogo attended the handover ceremony.
Onyango, who made his first international debut in 2005, signed out almost two weeks after Cranes failed to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals under his captaincy.
“It has been a great pleasure and honour to represent my country and I will always appreciate the experience and knowledge that I have gained while playing for the Cranes,” he pointed in a letter to soccer governing body FUFA back then.
Although Onyango has decided to bring to an end to a 16- year career littered with immeasurable success and setbacks, he has since continued with his club career at Mamelodi Sundowns.
“I believe my notice period is sufficient enough for the technical team to adequately prepare my replacement for the upcoming matches. By remaining a true patriot and supporter of football in my beloved Uganda, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and challenges,” he added.
Ugandan football has produced talented players down the years, but few, have ever matched Onyango’s consistency or commitment at the national level.
Recognised as Africa’s best goalkeeper in 2019, Onyango retired as the best goalkeeper this country has ever had in a career that registered over 70 caps.