June 15, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
Captain of Sierra Leone national team, Leone Stars, Umaru ‘Zangalay’ Bangura, on Wednesday, at State House, in Freetown, received his Presidential Gold medal award as Member of the Order of the Rokel (MOR) from the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
The FC Zurich defender, alongside the Chairman of Central One Football Association (COFA), Sama Sesay, veteran sports journalist, Zuhair Kudsy and Sierra Leone’s beach volleyball director, Coach Sorie Kamara, were all nominated for the Presidential Award, but the combative defender was unable to pick-up his due to club assignment in Switzerland.
For the Leone Stars skipper, there was no way better to have received such an award from the country’s president just days after he watched the national team secured a 2-1 win over Kenya at the Siaka Steven Stadium in Freetown.
Bangura, who scored Sierra Leone’s second goal from the penalty spot to ensure the team bagged an all three points in their opening clash of the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers said: “It was an absolute feelings for me, especially so when the memories of Saturday’s match is still fresh in our minds.”
“Words can’t express my emotion today. I just want to say thank you to His Excellency the President for such recognisation. I am truly honoured to receive this and it is a greater honour to be placed in such distinguished ranks. Thanks to the Sports Ministry, my teammates, SLFA, Sports journalists, the football family and above all my family. I am honoured,” said the former Haugesund and Dinamo Minsk defender.
Bangura now joins the likes of former captain, Sierra Leone and Inter Mila legend, Mohamed Kallon to grab similar award from President Koroma. Kallon was also presented this award on the country’s 52nd Independence Day in 2013. Another Ex-Leone Star player to be recongsied with similar award was former Real Republicans legend, Brima Mazola, who is now the vice-president I of Sierra Leone Football Association.