Maroons Football Club, is a professional football club located in Luzira, Nakawa Division, Kampala City, the club currently hosts its games at the Luzira Prisons Stadium with a capacity of over 5000 supporters located within the Luzira Prisons Complex.
It is owned by the Uganda Prisons Service, currently playing in the FUFA Big League following its premature relegation from the Uganda Premier League due to the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020. The name ‘Maroons’ is derived from the main color crescent of the Uganda Prisons Service ‘Maroon’ which represents the calmness and peacefulness of a correctional environment within a correctional facility.
Maroons Football Club is one of the most historical and traditional football clubs in Uganda founded in 1965 formerly registered as Prisons Football Club during the time of the then Commissioner General of Prisons Byaba Zaire, the club enjoys an amazing history having been the first Ugandan Football Club to have won the first two editions of the Ugandan Premier League organized in 1968 and 1969 respectively after only three years of sporting co-existence. The club further became the first football club to represent Uganda in a continental and international competition when it featured in the 1970 African Clubs of Champions Cup putting up a tremendous thunder clap performance finishing at the quarter finals stage of the campaign after losing to Egyptian Premier League side Ismaily F.C on a 6-2 aggregate.
Through the club’s steady line successes at the start, it was able to produce the highest number of national team players that represented the Uganda Cranes in the 1972 African Cup of Nations where Uganda finished as runners-up following a defeat to Ghana in the finals of the tournament.
Since then, it remains the furthest Uganda has ever gone in the African Cup of Nations which proves a point of how influential Maroons has contributed towards cementing the sporting history of the pearl of Africa (Uganda).
The club registered first five (5) good years of sporting successes, milestones and achievements up to the late 1980’s when a sudden decline in performance occurred. In 1987, the club suffered its first relegation set back from top division football after 23 years participation, Maroons was then reduced to playing lower division leagues hence forth vanishing into the thin air for over five (5) years.
A new trend of rejuvenation was witnessed in 1997 which was steered by the then Commissioner General of Prisons Joseph Etima (the late), as club patron, Director of Prisons, Tommy Ochen (the late) as Club Chairman and Muhammad Segonga as club secretary and welfare who also served as a referee up to FIFA level including other senior officers and subordinate staffs in various capacities.
The club’s major focus was based on restructuring the managerial systems while putting more emphasis on playing staffs premised on youth football development programs with a major purpose of competing in youth football leagues but rather opted to participate in locally organized tournaments within Nakawa Division.
After one year, the club re-enrolled into association football playing under the second division league, coached by re-known football gaffer Mike Mutebi and deputized by Coach Julius Kibuuka.
The club qualified into Nakawa first division league in 1999 but Mike Mutebi fell off the following year, leaving his assistant as an eventual care taker up to 2004 until when Kibuuka also left in search for greener pastures elsewhere since he had decided to concentrate on his medical profession at Mulago Hospital where he is currently engaged.
Club legend Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Mike Abeja (Rtd) then returned as head coach and team manager replacing Kibuuka.
On 10th/June/2005, a new Commissioner General of Prisons Dr. Con. Johnson Byabasaija was appointed and automatically ushered in as club patron; Director of Prisons Tommy Ochen (the late) was maintained as Club Chairman and Muhammad Segonga was also maintained.
A new ideology of assembling the team from all corners was initiated following a trend of reviving all prisons systems including sports as part of the agenda with Maroons becoming a priority.
The Commissioner General of Prisons brought rays of hope to the club since he doubled as a sports lover, promoter and enthusiast, his administration has always delivered in terms motivating the team and guiding numerous positive attributes that has enabled the club to grow and achieve sportingly.
In 2006, the club qualified to the finals of Kampala Zonal Mini League under the stewardship of Coach Mole Bwekwaso and current Uganda National team Manager Ntege Patrick as coaches, after several months of molding and preparations, Maroons lost in the first stages and failed to advance to the next stage.
After the Zonal Mini League, Asaph Mwebaze immediately joined the camp as head coach during the annual inter forces games, Prisons finished as runners up in the tournament after a mouth watering sporting performance.
A year later, Asaph Mwebaze prepared a very young motivated team selected from around the Luzira barracks area, the team comprised of hard working, committed and dedicated players who earned much enthusiasm from the ever growing support fan base, they were fully entrusted by the community as new agents of transformation of which they did not disappoint when they surface.
The year 2007 was termed as the year of success in club’s history; the long awaited thirst was quenched when Maroons Football Club got promoted back into the Ugandan Premier League after 23 years of absence from top division football. This was evidenced when Maroons out competed Mutundwe Lions, a club owned by current FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo through the Kampala Zonal Mini League final played at Nakivubo Stadium under the guidance of Coach Asaph Mwebaze and Captain Cemari James as the team’s skipper.
Asaph Mwebaze was then appointed as Head Coach on a permanent basis with Mzee Paddy as his assistant and Coach Badru Kaddu becoming the fitness trainer. Coach Mike Mutebi was re-integrated as technical director but unfortunately he voluntarily resigned from his roles at the club.
After qualification, Maroons Football Club attracted many top talents from within the neighboring areas of Kampala and Uganda as a whole with a new policy of growth and retention from the academy through various grades of development pathways to the senior team accompanied by numerous networks of talent identification.
In 2009, the house was again burnt when Maroons registered poor performances leading to another relegation set back.
The tactical coach maintained majority of senior team players with fewer additions of young players tapped through grass roots football at the academy level. Only after one year, Maroons gained promotion back into the premier league, bigger, better and stronger; they were crowned the first champions of the newly introduced FUFA Big League formats. The club was equally revamped with new departmental changes spending more years of participation in the Uganda Premier League. Ambitions of competing for the title.
In 2016, a big tragedy hit Maroons Football Club when the club chairman Director of Prisons Tommy Ochen breathed his last, to that effect Director of Prisons Moses Kakungulu’s appointment was uplifted as club chairman with a new revolution of club administrative reforms in the clubs setup.
In general, it is also important to note that over the past 13 years, Maroons Football Club has been in and out of the Ugandan Premier League, the team has always been champions of the Second division league of Ugandan football, the FUFA Big League, three times in the 2010s, gaining back to back promotion to the Ugandan Premier League each time they feature, they have conquered the 2009/2010, 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 FUFA Big League football seasons.
The departure of the most successful long serving coach of Maroons, Asaph Mwebaze was also witnessed in 2018 when he voluntarily resigned as head coach joining another Uganda Premier League side Onduparaka F.C, Asaph had championed the most recent talent development projects at the club through building capacities of notable players competing up to national team level like Patrick Kaddu, Saddam Juma, Muzamir Mutyaba, Anguyo Allan, Jamil Malyamungu, Ronald Orombi, Eddy Kapampa, Emmanual, Akol, Sylvester Okello, Maxwell Okello, Walusimbi Solomon, Agua Rashid, Pius Obuya, Belmos Opio, Kitagenda Godwin among others.
Majority of these players were basically Maroons Sports Academy graduates who delivered mouth watering football and most of them are house hold names among the supporters.
The club then acquired the services of self styled head coach George Best Nsimbe and Uganda Cranes legend David Obua as his assistant who guided the club through a successful terrain in the 2018/2019 Uganda Premier League Season finishing in the mid table.
The club then acquired its first one year shirt sponsorship deal with Virgin Cooking Oil and Ngetta Tropical Holdings Limited which became a very big financial boost to the club, the following year in 2019 a new head coach by names of Douglas Bamweyana was hired but his contract was mutually terminated due to poor performances that found Maroons slowly adjusting to the drop zone position of which it was out of the club’s expectation context.
Immediately after the departure of the coach, a bombshell devoured to the maximum in 2020 when Maroons became prematurely relegated from the league due to the COVID 19 pandemic that almost paused all sporting activities in the whole world pushing the club back into second division football.
Maroons Football Club is currently managed by a team of high caliber managers with experience in football administration and management following the acquisition of high profile coaches including Charles Ayeikoh Lukula as Head Coach, Ndifuna Eric as assistant coach, Abubakar Tabula as Fitness Trainer and Sadiq Waswa as Goal Keeping Coach, Senfuma Mohamad as 2nd assistant, Ekidu Steven as head coach U-20, Chemari James as coach of Maroons Sports Academy, Tezigwa KenRogers as Ass. Goal Keeping coach, Sidda Alex as club coaching statistician and U-17 coach, Ochuka Simon Peter as club coaching statistician and Ass. Coach at Maroons Sports Academy, Atiku Godfrey as Goalkeeping Coach Maroons Sports Academy, being represented as the first set of coaching staffs.
The Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Pius Bamwange deputized by club legend Allan Anguyo.