By Sarah Adong
Alex Mubiru, arguably the most talented and longest-serving rugby player the country has ever produced, has finally hung up his boots.
The veteran hooker started as a youngster at Kyambogo College as a baseball player. He played for the national U-15 team in the Africa Baseball Championships and also played cricket for the school team.
Former teammate and chairman of Kyadondo Rugby Club, Brian Tabaruka, said “Mubiru found me at Heathens and I also coached and he became the captain of the team. He has been a workaholic for both the national team and his club, full of energy and enthusiasm.”
“We shall miss him, but he has been grooming other young stars like Chanpara, and Kanyanya, as well as helping the Stallions and the ladies’ team. We look forward to having him in a support role as we wait for the long-term plan for him at the club. I call upon our players to emulate his passion for the game of rugby,” added Tabaruka.
At Kyambogo College, Mubiru tried out many sports alongside Anthony Kinene, Ramsey Olinga, Amos Somoka, Mark Kitaka, Tabaruka and Allan Otim (Heathens teammate), before trying his hand at rugby.
He was inspired to join the Heathens in 2003 after playing and losing to them in the Uganda Cup. He worked hard and joined the Kyadondo-based side until he called time on his career.
On hearing the news, his coach Muhammed Athio congratulated Mubiru upon serving rugby for a long time.
“I would like to congratulate Alex Mubiru on everything he has achieved in his rugby career. All the success you have achieved in 20 years of commitment and dedication couldn’t have happened to such a selfless person and we wish him all the best in the future,” he said.
“He has been an inspiration to us all, and not only has he enhanced the jersey during his time, but he has also left a lasting legacy that will be talked about by many. It’s been an absolute pleasure both being your coach and to have shared the field of battle with you Sava,” added Athio, in reference to Mubiru’s nickname.
Mubiru earned his national 7s debut in 2004 during the Dubai 7s, followed by the 15s debut in 2005.
He won eight Uganda Cup titles and twelve Rugby Premier League trophies with the Heathens, making him one of the most successful players with the club and with the national team.