Mike Mampuya (1983)

Mike Mampuya-Mawawu Willems Rory Adams (January 17, 1983) was an offensive right back who played for Helmond Sport and VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands. The Belgian fullback received cult status in the Netherlands, partly because of his blond haircut and colorful shoes.

Anderlecht and KRC Genk

Mike Mampuya, son of Congolese parents, was born in Verviers. A Belgian industrial town close to the German border. The young right winger quickly came on the radar of Anderlecht and the Brussels top club added the talent to the youth academy. Breaking in the Astridpark was not possible for Mike and through a short period at KRC Genk, Mampuya ended up in First Division club Heusden-Zolder in 2003. Here, the now twenty-year-old footballer made his debut in Belgian professional football on September 12, 2003 by substituting Kevin Vanbeuren in the home game against Sint-Truiden two minutes before the end. Mampuya made up to ten appearances in his debut season, which unfortunately had no basic appearances. To make matters worse, Mampuya also relegated with his club to the Second Division.

Breakthrough in the lower Belgian Classes

To get more matches in the legs, Mampuya left the relegant. He signed a contract with KSK Tongeren, coming out at the third Belgian professional level. Mampuya had an excellent year with Tongeren; they finished third in the league and thus played promotional matches against FC Denderleeuw. By drawing 2-2 at home and losing 2-1 out, promotion for the club was not in it, but Mampuya, good for 25 games and nine goals, did get promoted. Second Divisionist Vigor Hamme managed to seduce the winger to a switch.

The 22-year-old winger had an excellent year at Hamme. The club, fully called KFC Vigor Wuitens Hamme, almost managed to achieve promotion to the First Division. Although Mampuya finished in the middle bracket with Hamme, a period title was won. In the final round for promotion, three points were ultimately short. With 23 games in the legs, Mampuya was mostly a basic player and with this he attracted the attention of Lierse SK. The 1997 national champion barely managed to prevent relegation from the First Division.

First Division and Eredivisie football

Mampuya ended up in an experienced selection, of which René Trost was the trainer until November 2006. Nico Vaesen was the 37-year-old goalkeeper and at 32, Bob Peeters was the experienced goalkeeper in the front. Sven Vandenbroeck was also a teammate of Mampuya at the time. Mampuya's stay in Lier, however, was limited to six months and ten games. The attacker was accused of gambling fraud and was therefore allowed to leave. It was Helmond Sport that hired him for six months in January 2007. On January 12, he made his debut for the Helmonders against his later employer VVV Venlo. With John Nieuwenburg, Patrick Hobbelen and Ilja van Leerdam, among others, Mike ended up in an experienced team, where he immediately won a starting position as right half. The quick Belgian made an impression in De Braak and played all sixteen games after the winter break for the club, without being changed.

The Eredivisie in with VVV

The successful half year in North Brabant resulted in a nice transfer for Mampuya. The promoted VVV-Venlo took over the right half transfer-free and in Limburg trainer André Wetzel turned him into a right back. Within the attacking 4-3-3 system, Mampuya felt like a fish in the water. Due to his frequent appearance – combined with his commitment and beautiful blond haircut – the Belgian became a popular appearance in the Eredivisie. Despite the presence of star player Keisuke Honda and top talent Nordin Amrabat, VVV-Venlo relegated from the Eredivisie, as a result of which Mampuya also played a step lower. Despite the interest of various clubs, it was not possible to transfer for the back. With this, the short-term peaks of the fullback were also over. Mampuya lost his starting position during the season and left for Helmond Sport in the summer of 2009 on a free transfer.

On an adventure in Cyprus and Scotland

During the 2009/10 season, Mampuya played 26 games for Helmond Sport. After this, traveling around Mampuya started: between 2010 and 2012 he played in Cyprus for Doxa Katokopia FC and EN Paralimni. After he left the latter club, he was free for a year and then signed for the Livingston FC in June 2013. There was very little left of the professional footballer Mampuya – who had been the best off for a while – and after a disappointing year in the basement class of Scottish professional football, he finished with the amateurs of Broxburn Athletic. In the summer of 2016, 33-year-old Mampuya gave it up.

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