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Blog: Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu’s Amazing Feat

December 11, 2012


Blog: Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu’s Amazing Feat thumbnail

With the euphoria surrounding Lionel Messi’ ‘so called’ recording breaking 88 goals in one calender year, most fans in Zambia are surprised that Zambian legend Godrey Chitalu’s amazing feat which saw him hit 107 goals in 1972 not being mentioned.

As usual, the European media have been claiming that Germany great Gerd Muller held the record but contrary to that there’s the great ‘Ucar’ who hit a 100 plus goals for both club and country.

Below, Zambianfootball.co.zm‘s historian and researcher Jerry Muchimba takes a lot look at how Ucar scored his goals for Kabwe Warriors and Zambia.

Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu needs no introduction in Zambian football circles. Widely regarded as the greatest Zambian player in history, Chitalu was voted Footballer of the Year a record 5 times. In 1972, he rewrote the record books by scoring 107 goals in a single season and it is this amazing feat that will be examined more closely.

Chitalu was born on 22nd October 1947 in Luanshya and first played football for school and welfare teams before joining Kitwe United in 1965. He was the first winner of the Footballer of the Year and Top Scorer awards in 1968 with 81 goals. He won the Challenge Cup with United in 1970, the season in which he won his second Footballer of the Year award. He would go on to win it 3 more times in 1972, 1978 and 1979. He moved to Kabwe Warriors in 1971 and a wrangle over his transfer fee meant he missed the first 6 games of the season but still ended the season as joint top scorer with 41 goals.

Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu (l) is considered as one of the greatest Zambian player ever alongside Alex ‘Computer’ Chitalu and Kalusha ‘Great Kalu’ Bwalya

In 1972, Chitalu accomplished an astonishing feat by scoring 107 goals in all competitions, a Zambian scoring record which still stands today and looks unlikely to be broken. Soccer fans today still talk about the 107 goals feat but few people know exactly how he accomplished this. Research was recently carried out based on press reports of the matches he played in 1972, to shed more light on this awesome accomplishment. Shockingly, Chitalu scored more than 107 goals but the reason why only that figure has been recorded will be revealed shortly.

Chitalu kicked off the season by scoring a brace when Warriors drew 2-2 with Majantja FC of Lesotho in Maseru in the Africa Clubs Champions Cup on 23rd January 1972. He followed this up with a lesson in clinical finishing, scoring a whopping seven goals when Warriors overwhelmed the Sothos 9-0 in the second leg on 6thFebruary 1972 at Dag Hammarskjoeld Stadium in Ndola. Although the newspaper report of the match stated that he had set the pace on the National Football League (NFL) scoring charts with nine goals in the competition, the goals were later scratched off because the two matches were played at a time when ‘the season had not started.’

Ucar Chitalu scored 107 goals in one season

Chitalu scored the winner when Warriors beat Kitwe United 1-0 to win the season-opening Charity Shield and scored twice when Warriors trounced Zambia police 5-2 in their first league game of the season at Railway Stadium in Kabwe. He scored a hat-trick when Warriors beat Maseru United 7-1 in an international friendly at the same venue in March and 4 goals in a 14-2 thrashing of Norco Rangers in a Chibuku Cup first round match to pull away from the rest of the field. He was also on target for Zambia in an international friendly against Sheffield United in May.

When Zambia met Lesotho in a World Cup qualifier in June, he struck twice in a 6-1 victory and was also on the score-sheet in friendly matches against Union Espanola of Chile. Chitalu scored a brace when he captained the All Stars to a 4-3 victory against The Rest on 14th August, taking him to 71 goals for the season.

The Goal-King scored twice in the Challenge Cup final when Warriors beat Ndola United 3-1 and scored in another final two weeks later, this time in the 5-3 defeat of Rhokana United in the Chibuku Cup final. In the process, he surpassed his own record of 81 goals that he had set as the inaugural winner of the top-scorers’ award in 1968.

At the end of October, Chitalu had amassed 92 goals with a gap of 57 goals between him and second placed Bernard Chanda of Wanderers and Warrior’s team-mate Sandy Kaposa. There was no stopping him as he went on to score in 17 consecutive matches for Warriors, including two when they were knocked out of the Africa Club Champions Cup 9-3 on aggregate by Ghana’s Hearts of Oak, 5 against Buseko FC in a Chibuku Cup tie, 5 against Roan in a Castle Cup semi-final and 7 against Mufulira Wanderers in two league games including 4 in a 5-1 demolition at Shinde Stadium.

He scored in yet another cup final when Warriors crushed Kitwe United 6-1 in November to lift the Castle Cup, with Chitalu grabbing a hat-trick and taking his tally for the season to 99 goals in a 9-2 whipping of City of Lusaka and only needed one more to reach the magical figure of one hundred goals.

The hundredth goal soon came in a 4-2 victory in a league game against Kalulushi Modern Stars at the Independence Stadium in Kalulushi, when he scored a hat-trick.

He scored twice in Warrior’s final league game of the season, a 4-0 bashing of his old club Kitwe United in Kabwe.

Chitalu was not done as he scored 3 goals in the two legged match of Midlands XI vs Copperbelt XI for the NFL trophy in December to reach the magical figure of 107 goals.

At the end of the season Warriors had swept all the silverware on offer, an unprecedented haul which included the Footballer of the Year and Top scorer awards, which of course went to Chitalu who attributed his success to the good support from his teammates who in his own words were ‘selfless.’

The Zamfoot Crew’s Jerry Muchimba has done his research and spent time going through the 1972 newspapers as he worked on Chitalu’s goal tally.

For his remarkable achievement, Chitalu received a special yellow ball from sponsors Rothmans which had his name and number of goals inscribed on it.

His goals of which 49 came in the league are shown below and by the rules in force then, these included international friendlies, Midlands vs Copperbelt and All Stars vs The Rest matches. (Chitalu’s teams’ score is shown first)

[Information sources: Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail from 1972]



28 Comments on "Blog: Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu’s Amazing Feat"

  1. Sido on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 1:25 pm 

    I was just frm reading the yahoo italia. And the name of Chitalu appeared to be among the world top 10 scorers. Chitalu is named number 3 with 81 goals. This is indeed a great archivement and respect for mother Zambia. In Africa no is ranked in tht top list.At the moment Messi is number 1 then Muller.

  2. MAN.U, T.P.MAZEMBE, NKANA & ZAMBIA on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 1:46 pm 

    well if faz can substantiate the records then they have a case. but, do match records for tornaments like the chibuku cup exist. lets put our records in order first. remember romario has had a problem convincing that he scored 1000 goals in his carrier coz maybe he was counting even goals scored during training.

  3. Kabwata Dallas Kanjombe on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 1:53 pm 

    I think the second picture is where we get: Bika apa tapaliumuntu

  4. Tom on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 2:07 pm 

    Do you know how many matches did he play to achieve the 107 goals record?

  5. Mphatso on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 2:46 pm 

    With all due respect to the good intention…but why didnt we dispute mullers ‘record’ then? why now? why Messi’s? for sure we are cry babies guys..I am sure they know zambia now at fifa…whenever they see a letter/email from FAZ, am sure they go ‘what again now?’!!!…lol

  6. david on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 3:08 pm 

    Great Kalu is it true that FAZ in 1972 awarded Godffery Ucar Chitalu for scoring 107 goals in a season.

    Check your records and forward it to FIFA. Fifa can come and archive newspapers and football administrators of then and confirm or not.

    If think you and everyone praising Messi who are Zambians should think twice. Let Messi break Ucar’s record! Then we give a thumbs up.

  7. Vinkubala on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 3:08 pm 

    Below the second picture, it should have been written Alex ‘Computer’ Chola and not Alex ‘Computer’ Chitalu.’UCAR’ was a great player indeed. I last saw him at Maramba Stadium in Livingstone during the late 70s when Kabwe warriors walloped L/stone select by 11 goals to nil. The select team had the likes of the late Fani Hangunyu, Maybin Nyirenda (10), Babu and Mundindi (brothers). There would be wild eruptions of ‘UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCAR elelele, UUUUUUCAR elelelele. . . .

  8. Bwalya on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 3:24 pm 

    Mphatso I think you are a problem. This is straight forward. I hate pipo who think like that.

  9. rosebank on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 3:38 pm 

    Notable omissions from African Footballer of the Year shortlist
    Posted by Firdose Moonda…….ESPN

    Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba tempered their African Nations Cup disappointment with respective Premier League and Champions League triumphs

    Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Andre Ayew, Demba Ba and Alex Song are fine footballers. In the past year, they have been among the finest. And that’s why they have been shortlisted for the African footballer of the year title.

    Toure won the prize last year after his goal in the FA Cup final gave Manchester City their first trophy in 35 years. Another exceptional season with the club has seen him on the final nomination sheet again. He was instrumental in City’s their win over Manchester United in 2011-12 and scored twice in the penultimate match of the season against Newcastle United to put them ahead on goal difference, which is ultimately how they clinched the premier league. He was also part of the Ivory Coast team that reached the final of the African Nations’ Cup (ANC), but did not win it.

    Drogba will give him stiff competition. He passed the 150 mark for Chelsea in this year, in terms of number of goals. The most important of them was the penalty he converted in the Champions League final, which saw Chelsea crowned continental champions for the first time. It played a role in him voted their greatest player ever in October. He did not, however, manage to do the same for the Ivory Coast.

    Drogba’s miss cost the country in the penalty shootout of the ANC final. Zambia emerged lifted the cup that day. Ba netted 16 times for Newcastle in the 34 matches he played last season and has already scored eight times in this one to lie joint-second on the goal-scorers list. He did not breach the goalkeeper once at the ANC though, as Senegal were knocked out in the first round. Andre Ayew was named Marseille’s player of the season and Alex Song was the second most popular player at Aresenal before breaking hearts and moving to Barcelona. Ayew scored the winner in Ghana’s ANC quarterfinal but they did not make it out of the final four.

    Cameroon did not even qualify for the event so Song did not appear in the tournament and he will miss the next one because Cameroon also missed out on the 2013 competition.

    Now consider Christopher Katongo, who led Zambia to a poignant victory in the Nations’ Cup. He was among the top goal-scorers in the tournament having registered his name in the scorebook three times, including in the quarter-final and the penalty shootout in the final. He single-footedly revived Zambia’s 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign when he scored the only goal in their match against Ghana. He also ensured the continental champions would be present to defend their title in South Africa in January when he scored the goal in the first-leg match against Uganda. Katongo has done more for his country than the other five combined and looked a shoe-in for the final shortlist and even the main prize. He was part of the initial 10-man shortlist but his name was nowhere to be seen when CAF trimmed it.

    While Zambia haven’t said much, Ghana, who have a player nominated in Ayew, responded with outrage. Radio stations across the country fielded calls from irate fans and experts. Sports journalist Kwabena Yeboah told Joy FM it was a “shameful,” decision to exclude Katongo while others said CAF was “totally ignorant of the game it runs.” That suggestion is not far from the reality.

    CAF also ignored Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who also scored three goals at the ANC as the co-hosts surprisingly topped their group to reach the quarter-finals. Morocco’s Younes Belhanda did not make the final cut either. The 22-year-old saved his country’s blushes with a goal against Niger to avoid them ending at the bottom of their group and had good season for French side Montpellier where he was moved from being a defensive midfielder into a more central position and was instrumental in their league win. He would have been the perfect balance between club and country, if CAF don’t want to place the emphasis on country alone.

    On the evidence of their current shortlist, the focus is only on club and only on an overseas club, although they could be forgiven for that because they have an additional category for African-based players. But even that creates an us-and-them division that some would be uncomfortable with. Success at a European club is still what most footballers around the world dream of. African footballers are no different but that does mean that they should only be rewarded if they manage that.

    Those who produce on the continent, particularly for their country, should be rightfully recognized, even in a sporting code where club achievements are often given greater due. And for that reason, Ghana is right. Chris Katongo is Africa’s real footballer of 2012.

  10. rosebank on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 3:43 pm 

    what a legend from here on we should improve on our record keeping am sure even the worlds oldest man is in zambia

  11. THE ONE on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 4:08 pm 

    the love them selves not Africa we know that thats the name of the Game we are still pround of our own God bless zambia

  12. UNCLE BOBS on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 6:12 pm 

    The picture where Chitalu is saying “Bika apa, tapali umuntu apa” was against Malawi and the defender should be Jack Chamangwana and i was previleged to have watcghed this match! Oh that Admiral Jersey is still my favorite ever and the one with a white one is the one that was on the LP record (33rpm) produced by Dennis Liwewe. In that picture he was actually standing to Dennis Liwewe who wore a multi-coloured striped shirt.

  13. Jojo on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 6:16 pm 

    Tune in to the BBC at 18:30. They’ll have a program on Godfrey Chitalu’s record, They will feature Denis Liwewe

  14. Sibs on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 6:17 pm 

    Amazing record by Ucar. Pa Zed we will always treasure this record.

    I was watching some guy on TV the other day,asking if Messi was playing in the German league or EPL if he was going to manage scoring all these goals?
    Let alone the guy said if he was playing for Sunderland or some small team could he manage to get all those goals?

  15. Strike eagle on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 6:26 pm 

    Pepo. Ghanians really hate us zambians. Jst frm readn an article on ghanasoccernet abt the petition regardn omission of katongo on caf player of the year. They are postin hate comments abt us and katongo. Its gud no zambian has responded and i hope it stays that way

  16. Amos Mumba on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 6:36 pm 

    @Uncle Bobs..yes it is Jack Chamangwana,the then captain of Malawi at Dag.The second picture,i watched this game at woodlands stadium between copperbelt and midlands.He raced with the ball on his head from the center circle until hewas fouled.There was a debut appearance by a Mutambo who was higher institutional player.

  17. Seen from afar on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 9:43 pm 

    I love that last picture, the Times of Zambia one, the defenders are having a tough time…

  18. K Blades on Tue, 11th Dec 2012 11:03 pm 

    He is put at number 3 on the all time goal scorers list with 81 goals. Apparently, they only consider Fifa sanctioned league club matches, national team competitions and Fifa recognised friendlies, so if those are removed, then 81 goals may just be right.

  19. Big Ole on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 1:14 am 

    The 81 goals are for 1968 and not the 107 for 1972 which is the same year that Gerd Muller set his record.

  20. Anonymous on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 7:43 am 

    Enzo dyela mpemba

  21. CHITI CHITUNDU on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 8:28 am 

    FIFA you can recognize and remember Peles 1958 goals… but Chitalu you cant in 1972??. Katongo mwalimufyenga nomba na Ucar????? FIFA and CAF please pull up your socks. Infact you should also know that Ashios Melu has the hardest shot in the world and Kapambwe Mulenga has the longest throw in.

  22. Brave Nchanga Rangers on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 8:32 am 

    Well done ba Zamfut for digging deeper after last month’s article on the same. Now this puts this case to rest that Ucar is the greatest footballer to have come out of Zambia, indeed he was a legend. FIFA and Bazungu cant live with the reality that an African should be the one to lead. If Hayatoo was true to himself and Kalu and his FAZ pursued this issue am sure records would be put straight. But truth remains Chitalu rightfully holds that record the world over and we are here to see if Mesi will beat it. He has exceeded Muller’s but let us wait and see if he will dare baet our own.

  23. MAN.U, T.P.MAZEMBE, NKANA & ZAMBIA on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 8:47 am 

    @ anonimous LOL.maybe these were those games of 5 change goal and ten finish. if you are playing an away game and the game is for money, the guy keeping the money and the team immediately run away for their dear lives after scoring the winning goal. those were tough times especialy playing against teams from the police camp.

  24. UNCLE BOBS on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 5:30 pm 

    Ba Chitundu-hot shots there was Bobby Charlton who could hit them hard and for throw ins i think Simon Kaushi Kaudi had longer throw ins than Gentile’s-kekekekekeke

  25. TRUTH on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 10:49 pm 

    I am sitting here thinking FIFA will blow a whistle against Zambia for OFFSIDE, kabili efyo bachita ngatabalefwaya i team ukuwina, elyo takuli nakabepesho as at that time bola pa Zed yali very hot. Imwe bushe cacine Ba Ashos Melu balipeye Gole(Goalkeeper) na Shot? Nalibamwenepo face to face iyeeee balikwete amolu ayakosa! kwena those are legends!

  26. Kingdom on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 11:30 pm 

    Why did they wait for forty years? But after reading this blog i told myself that this guy was phenomenal and i believed what i told myself.