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Johnson Bwalya
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-12-03) 3 December 1967 (age 48)
Place of birth Mufulira, Zambia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Butondo Western Tigers
Mufulira Wanderers
FC Fribourg
FC Zürich
FC Bulle
SC Kriens

* 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[edit]

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[edit]

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.


  1. ^ Johnson Bwalya Sports-Reference.com

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38 news items

Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:52:30 -0800

After attending Kantanshi Secondary School in Mufulira, Johnson Bwalya kicked off his football career at hometown club, Butondo Western Tigers. In 1986, he joined Mufulira Wanderers and won Footballer of the Year accolande in his first season at the club.

Zambia Daily Mail

Zambia Daily Mail
Sat, 26 Dec 2015 03:03:45 -0800

Samuel 'Zoom' Ndhlovu, Kalusha Bwalya, Charles Musonda, Johnson Bwalya, Ashios Melu, Efford Chabala, Frederick Kashimoto and Harrison Chongo among others are some of the players that hailed from Mufulira and played at the highest level. Mukanga ...

Lusaka Times

Lusaka Times
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 03:50:51 -0700

He opted to start with Douglas Mwamba from Kabwe Warriors on the right wing leaving out the experienced and robust Johnson Bwalya. It had to take coach Fred Mwila to force matters and reinstall Johnson Bwalya in the first team, albeit in an unfamiliar ...
Lusaka Times
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:18:26 -0700

SuperSport wants to engage ex-Chipolopolo star Elijah Litana as a pundit for the FAZ Super League. Elusive Litana is currently the coach of Kafulafuta Football Club in Masaiti District. SuperSport Marketing Manager – Southern Africa Marlon Kananda is ...

Zambia Daily Mail

Zambia Daily Mail
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:50:47 -0800

The 1988 squad that had Efford Chabala, Ashious Melu, Eston Mulenga, Derby Makinka, Johnson Bwalya, Charles Musonda, Stone Nyirenda, Kalusha Bwalya and Wisdom Chansa, among others, reached the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the under-23 national ...

Zambia Daily Mail

Zambia Daily Mail
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 01:38:57 -0800

The club has produced great players – Samuel 'Zoom' Ndhlovu, Kalusha Bwalya, Charles Musonda, Ackim Musenge, Ashios Melu, Efford Chabala, Johnson Bwalya, Michael Kapembwa and the Nkole brothers, Abraham and Patrick, among others.

The Independent

The Independent
Wed, 18 Jan 2012 16:06:09 -0800

The players joked about it, and Johnson Bwalya took some light-hearted photographs, but there was an awareness that this was not really something to joke about. "The boys," Kalusha said, "always used to say, 'This plane will kill us some day.'" Zambia ...

The Standard Digital News

The Standard Digital News
Sat, 30 Nov 2013 00:34:18 -0800

Yet, they would admit that out of the Zambia greats they knew — Jan Simulambo, Patrick Phiri, Godfrey Chitalu, Dick Chama, Webby Chikabala, Mordon Malitoli, Kenneth Malitoli, Elijah Litana, Enos Chiyangi, Joel Bwalya and Johnson Bwalya — Kalusha was ...

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