Jonson Bwalya

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Personal information
Date of birth (1967-12-03) 3 December 1967 (age 53)
Place of birth Mufulira, Zambia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Butondo Western Tigers
Mufulira Wanderers
FC Fribourg
FC Zürich
FC Bulle
SC Kriens
FC Sion

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Johnson Bwalya (born 3 December 1967) is a Zambian former footballer. He played for the Zambian national team and represented the country at the Olympics.


Domestic career

Born in Mufulira, Bwalya attended Kantanshi Secondary school and began his career at hometown club Butondo Western Tigers. In 1986 he joined Mufulira Wanderers, winning Footballer of the Year in his first season at the club. At the end of the season he signed for Swiss club FC Fribourg.

He later played for FC Zürich, FC Bulle, SC Kriens and FC Sion.

International career

Bwalya made his debut for Zambia in April 1987 in an All Africa Games qualifier against Malawi in Lusaka and was part of the Zambian team that qualified to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He scored a goal in Zambia's 4-0 win against Italy on their way to becoming the first African team to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.[1] After slipping past a defender, Bwalya hit a wonderful shot from nearly 35 yards that swerved and dipped just under the crossbar. In the game against West Germany which Zambia lost 4-0, Bwalya got injured and would not feature for Zambia for the next 4 years.

Upon his recovery, Bwalya regained his form and won back his place in the national team and was to join up with the team for the Senegal game only to learn that the plane carrying the team had plunged into the sea in the Gabon disaster. When a new team was assembled it was Bwalya and Kalusha that led the team, both of them scoring in a match against Morocco with Bwalya getting the winning goal with a 25-metre thunderbolt in 2-1 win.

Bwalya was part of the team that reached the final of 1994 CAN in Tunisia and was stand in captain in Kalusha's absence as the team also qualified to the 1996 CAN in South Africa where they lost to Tunisia in the Semi-finals.

At the 1996 Cup of Nations in South Africa, Bwalya was part of a Zambian team which won the bronze medal, scoring 15 goals in the process and demolishing Egypt 3-1 in a come from behind quarter-final victory.

In 1997, Zambia drew a World Cup qualifier with South Africa 0-0 at Independence Stadium in Lusaka amid reports of a falling out between Bwalya and Kalusha Bwalya, with Bwalya unhappy with the latter's influence on team selection. Later that year, Bwalya as captain led Zambia and lifted the inaugural COSAFA Castle Cup.

When new coach German Burkhard Ziese took over the reins of the national team in late 1997, he accused Bwalya of having the wrong attitude by not attending a team meeting and dropped him from the team travelling to CAN 1998 where Zambia were knocked out in the group stages.


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  1. Johnson Bwalya