Back in March when we first posted this article, many fans disagreed. The club was not doing well and Blackberry was struggling to find his form. Now that Blackberry has regained the sparkling form that saw win several awards last season, perhaps some of you will change your mind ?
The year was 1979. And Nahashon Oluoch was a form six student at Highway secondary school. Gor Mahia had a strong unit that would later capture the imagination of the Kenyan public by reaching the final of the Africa cup winners cup and by winning the national league. It was a unit that had players like the legendary Allan Thigo, a midfield maestro per supreme, Andrew Obunga, a prolific goal scorer, Mike Ogolla “Machine”, John “Bobby” Ogolla, no doubt the best stopper ever to play in Kenya and another rising super nova by the name of Sammy Owino, who was nick named “Kempes”.
Nahashon Oluoch was nicknamed “Lule” after the Ugandan president at the time. The Kenyan press dubbed him the school boy wonderboy. To this day, Kenyans still think he is the best left winger Kenya has ever seen. Lule was named one of the top 10 players on the continent in 1979 by CAF. Amazing considering he was still a secondary school student.
In watching George Odhiambo “Blackberry” over the past year or so, one sees many similarities. Both are attackers who operate primarily on the left wing. Both are excellent dribblers capable of slicing defenses with their mazy footwork. Both score frequently was evidenced by Blackberry finishing among the league’s leading scorers. And both have captured the imagination of the public by making it into the national team while still in secondary school.
Blackberry has a while to go before he can fully catch up with the exploits of Lule. Not only did Lule help steer the club to the Africa cup winners cup final, but he was also named as one of the top 10 African players in 1979, quite a feat for a youngster still in secondary school. A month later, at the CECAFA club cup final in Blantyre Malawi, he scored the winning goal as Gor Mahia beat arch rivals AFC Leopards in an all Kenyan final to lift the cup. But blackberry shall get their with hard work.
Lule and compatriot Sammy Owino Kempes left for the USA on football scholarships in 1982, breaking the hearts of Kogalo supporters who nevertheless wished them well. They joined Alabama A&M University. In 1984 with Lule and Kempes in their roster, Alabama A&M was ranked the top college team in the United states.
Kogalo fans will be hoping that Blackberry can help steer the club to greater heights and restore the club back to its mighty heights. Kenyan fans will be hoping that Blackberry can join a top tier club in Europe where he can showcase his playing skills.