Letter from Uganda–Tragedy at Kyadondo Rugby Club
England Counties XV play the first game of their tour today at Kyadondo RFC in Kampala. But the club has a tragic past which Mike Waplington, my RFU Council colleague from Notts, Lincs & Derby, relates below:
On the evening of 10 July 2010 hundreds of people had gathered at the rugby club to watch the televised football World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands, all looking to have a good time and enjoy the match. Their enjoyment was cut short by 2 bomb blasts at the club (and there was also another at an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala) and around 100 people are thought to have died there – the sad thing is that no one really knows the exact number.
The wall of the adjacent building still bears the scars of that night with lumps of concrete knocked out by the shrapnel. A simple but poignant memorial is now placed in the corner of the ground as a tribute to those, many unknown, who died that night and a reminder of how fun can turn to tragedy in a split second. The club itself has been rebuilt but as for the lives of those injured and the families of those that died – who knows.
This will add an extra poignancy to today’s proceedings.