Around this time some 19 years ago, SC Villa claimed their unprecedented 16th national league title.
However, they have not added to that tally ever since, suffering one agonising season after another.
That wait could be over this Saturday when the Jogoos welcome four-time champions, URA, to Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku.
For the first time in nearly two decades, Villa go into their final match of the season top of the table and needing just one more StarTimes Uganda Premier League win to be crowned champions.
All coach Jackson Magera’s team needs is to beat URA and they will move to 55 points after 28 matches.
At 55 points, not even wins by KCCA and defending champions Vipers SC at home to Soltilo Bright Stars and Busoga United respectively will matter.
But something is different this time round. Strange, even! The last man to win that league title with Villa in 2004 is the same man that could yet extend the Jogoos’ agony into the 20th year.
Coach Sam Timbe brings his Tax Collectors with one mission: Finish the season on the high!
URA are currently sixth on 39 points, 13 behind leaders Villa, in what has largely been an underwhelming season for them. But finishing strong is top on the agenda for the taxmen.
And they have spent the week subtly making it clear on social media that they hold the keys to where the title goes this season.
“Putting in the hard work ahead of our final season game against the Jogoos this Saturday at Wankulukuku. Let’s end it on a high Tax Collectors,” URA FC tweeted on Wednesday.
They followed that by tweeting Ibrahim Dada, their top scorer with six goals, celebrating one of them against Villa in the 1-1 first round draw at Nakisunga Ground. They tagged Villa in that.
The comments that followed on the above tweet from both Villa fans and supporters of other clubs, who want URA to spoil any impending party, make you want to be at Wankulukuku yourself.
Back to Timbe, he led Villa to that incredible 16tth league title, which was the club’s record seventh in a row, after replacing current Uganda Cranes coach Micho Sredojovic, who had left in the middle of the season to join the Ethiopian side St George.
Timbe, whose assistant at the time – Ibrahim Kirya – is currently in the same role at Villa under Magera, also went on to win the 2005 Cecafa Club Cup.
Nearly two decades on, the Brazilian trained coach – the only one to win four Cecafa titles with as many clubs including Villa (2005), Police (2006), Atraco (2009) and Yanga (2011) – holds the keys to Villa’s happiness again. 3pm on Saturday!
*Credit: UPL media.