Former coaches, fellow players, football administrators, and fans have in equal measure hailed Denis Onyango as a great pillar in the Uganda Cranes set up after the skipper announced retirement from international football on Monday evening.
Onyango,35 called time on his service to the national team that he has served diligently after 16 years prompting tributes from all corners of the world.
Former SC Villa and Cranes coach, Milutin Sredjovic Micho who managed Onyango at both club and the national team could not thank enough the shot-stopper for the memories that he said will forever be cherished.
“Thank you is not enough when I press inside myself button of unforgettable memories and accept the bold truth that it was purely worth to be alive and cross my football journey with yours,” Micho said.
“You have been a great leader and a friend filled with lots of fun and the Cranes will miss you,” midfielder Yasser Mugerwa posted on his social media pages.
Hassan Wasswa, who last week also announced his retirement from international football could not help but appreciate the service of his former captain with whom they served the national team diligently.
“Mr. Safe hands, words can’t explain how much you have served the nation but there comes a time when we have to sign out. Happy retirement captain fantastic,” Wasswa tweeted.
“Thank you for being a great friend, leader, and round wonderful human being. As a player, I know what you have done for this country. As a fan, I feel blessed to have witnessed it first hand,” Emmanuel Okwi tweeted.
Khalid Aucho posted, “For the first time in my life, I have no words to say about you my brother and I will not say that you have retired from the national team.”
Joseph Ochaya could not believe his eyes and ears after Denis Onyango announced his retirement from international football.
He described it as a sad moment for everyone.
“I am sad that you have made up your mind finally without accomplishing our mission as a country that we will be starting in June,” Ochaya said of the forthcoming World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Ochaya hailed Onyango as an inspiration to all the national team players who will greatly be missed.
“As a captain, you have always given us most of us the confidence and belief on the pitch whenever we were down. It has given us the spirit of never say never until it is over. We will miss every single moment we shared together in the dressing room,” the TP Mazembe player wrote on his social media.
“A lot can be written but nothing will fill the sacrifice you have done for our country. You have been example of a good leader, role, model, elder brother and inspiration. You paved way for us and the next generations to come and you will always be remembered as a legend in Ugandan football,” Farouk Miya posted on his facebook.
For youngster, Allan Okello, Onyango was a mentor for everyone on the national team whose services will be missed.
“I can’t believe we are not going to see the motivator and mentor anymore,” Okello posted.
Fans too were not left out on paying homage to Onyango after hanging gloves.
“Words can’t describe how thankful I am for your contribution towards this nation. Thanks a ton for marketing and raising the flag high,” one Hope Mugisha posted on her Twitter.
Attaching some of Onyango’s accolades, photojournalist, Edward Echwalu described the Cranes skipper as a diligent servant.
“We owe you so much but it hurts to see you leave this way, “Echwalu tweeted.