By Our Reporter
On 29th August 1956, Uganda’s national team got battered by both the weather and the Wycombe Wanderers during their fixture in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.
This was one of their 11 matches classified as an FA tour. Uganda lost 7 games, two of which were a thrashing of 10-1.
There was a yawning difference between the teams and that could have as well explained the goal difference as the hosts out 10 goals past the Ugandan side which had most of the players barefoot on the wet turf.
The match began with a handshake for the Ugandan team from Stanley Rouse, then-Secretary of the Football Association (FA) and ex-international referee. Rouse went on to be the 6th president of FIFA.
Not so long after the first whistle, Wycombe Wanderers were ahead through their shirt seven (7) F Smith. Another goal was scored in short succession after the ball was snatched from Uganda’s Daniel Parma and scored by Paul Bates who had a field day.
Bates scored another goal dazzling Uganda’s defence and leaving the keeper helpless. The first half ended 7-0.
Uganda pulled back one in the second half after left-winger Aloysius Kalibala pounced on the attack swinging in a cross when landed on Paul Owiti’s feet. Owiti lopped the keeper backward and the ball landed on Gilbert Sseruwagi’s feet who guided in a low shot to score Uganda’s lonely goal.
The hosts then put in three more with much ease as Uganda’s keeper Nafutali Musoke had had enough.
Meanwhile, on the contrary, the Uganda team players did not blame the weather or the lack of boots for their worst loss but ironically blamed the other players who had used boots.
“The reason we lost that match was that we were given football boots for the first time. We didn’t know how to use them. But we removed the shoes after that and played much better.” Musoke the goalkeeper told Ugandan media much later.
Indeed, Uganda players came on pitch minus boots in the subsequent games, and the results were much better, registering 3 wins and a draw.