Onyango retirement reactions: ‘Retire jersey number 18’ – AC Paradou’s Okello

The skipper decided to call it a day after more than 15 years of service to Cranes

Paradou AC midfielder Allan Okello has urged the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) to retire jersey number 18 in honour of legendary custodian Denis Onyango.

The Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper announced his retirement from the national team on Monday ending his 16-year career with Uganda Cranes. The 20-year-old is still in disbelief of the decision by the 35-year-old but has since gone to wish him the best.

“Captain, leader, names can’t say it all,” the former Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC player tweeted.

“Just waiting for the shirt number 18 to be retired. Can’t believe we are not going to see the motivator anymore. Just wishing you all the best captain.”

Motherwell defender and Bevis Mugabi went on to appreciate his former national team captain for his role in helping him integrate with other players. He also lauded him for his qualities on the pitch.

“A leader of men who has guided the Uganda Cranes to new heights and laid the foundation for the new generation,” the 25-year-old reacted.

“Thank you for integrating me into the squad so smoothly. Showing qualities of a real captain on and off the pitch! Thank you legend.”

The federation also took to their Twitter handle to appreciate the player for his service in the national team colours.

“15 years of great service for the country. Thanks, captain for the memories,” Fufa tweeted.

In his tribute, Cranes forward Emmanuel Okwi stated it was an honour to play alongside the goalkeeper in the national team.

“Thank you for always being a great friend, leader, and all-around wonderful human being,” the former Simba SC forward posted.

“As a player, I know what you have done for this country. As a fan, I feel blessed to have witnessed it firsthand. It has been an absolute honour to represent the Uganda flag by your side. 

“Your achievements and sacrifice are visible for anyone with eyes. I wish you all the best in your retirement and may you continue succeeding at club level.”

Hassan Wasswa, who recently retired from the national team as well did not hesitate to wish his friend a happy retirement.

“‘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. A great leader, a great motivator, a mentor, a patriot, and most of all, captain fantastic. Happy retirement Mahela my man.”

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