Down memory lane: The Inaugural Super Cup

Muroro Pacho
Milimani 89-Strathmore 93

On Saturday , Gor Mahia will face a team that for nearly 40 years has been one of the strongest rivals in the local league in the 2012 edition of the Super Cup. This years edition is known as the DSTV/Supersport supercup. With the big game only a day away, its worthwhile to take a trip down memory lane to revisit the first ever super cup.

The year was 1991. The first ever super cup was sponsored by Standard Newspapers. Gor Mahia had won the league in 1990 under player-coach Austin Oduor. Rivatex had won the local cup, then known as the Moi Golden cup. The now defunct Rivatex FC of Eldoret was by then one of the best teams in the country. With sponsorship from the parent company, they finished 3rd in the 1990 league in addition to winning the Moi Golden cup. They paraded a number of national team players, most notably the sensational Alfayo Odongo who was Kenya player of the year in 1991. On their way to winning the golden cup, they had eliminated Gor Mahia in the second round on penalties. Their Keeper Charles Bwire Namudeche put on a clinic in penalty saving on that day. Yours truly was a ball retriever at Nyayo stadium on that day. The usually sure footed Austin Oduor saw his penalty saved even after the referee had allowed him to re-take it. Muroro-Pacho watched the whole thing from right behind the net. This Super cup was thus going to be a tough match for Kogalo. But they had revenge on their minds.

But it was also bound to be one of the most memorable days for football fans. Aside from the fanfair around the first ever Super Cup, the legendary Zairean band TP OK Jazz were touring Kenya and were due to play in the curtain raiser before the match. Imagine this legendary band curtain raising for Kogalo ! Fans started to troop to Kasarani as early as 8 am.

TP OK Jazz did not dissapoint. Led by legendary composer Lutumba Simaro, they belted out their most popular songs including the recently released hit Anjela by Ndombe Opetum, and others like the classic song Propetaire by Josky among others

Left to Right: Madilu System, Aime Kiwakana, Malage De Lugendo & Josky Kiambukuta

The fans were thoroughly entertained. Madilu walked into the field briefly to show off his dribbling and juggling skills, and received a standing Oh ! from the crowd. Just as the crowd was reaching fever pitch, the concert was brought to an abrupt halt. Why ? Because Standard, the sponsors of the match had organized a womens match between a select Nairobi side pitted against Standard employees. Fans were not amused at seeing TP OK Jazz cut short. You have to understand that in those days, there was no organized womens football. So the women who played were uncoordinated. The one sided match ended 9-0 in favor of the Nairobi select side.

20 Minutes later the main event began. Gor Mahia in white tops and green shorts, were parading sensational new signings including the talented Felix Otieno, and returning goalkeeper Charles Omondi “Korea” while the sensational Ethiopian Michael Teshome Zelleallem stated on the bench.

Gor Mahia dominated the proceedings in the first half as they peppered Charles Bwire. But the latter stood firm between the posts. In the 15th minute, speedy winger Anthony Ndolo scored but his goal was disallowed for offside. Ndolo was on the war path again 20 minutes later. He latched onto a Peter Dawo pass but his shot was parried by Bwire. Rivatex came forcefully into the match towardss the end of the half, launching a series of raids in the Kogalo goalmouth. The first half thus ended scoreless.

Gor Mahia came out storming in the second half. Within 5 minutes they had forced two spectacular saves from Bwire from efforts by George Onyango Fundi and Anthony Ndolo. On 58 minutes, Teshome was introduced for Felix Otieno. With what was basically his first touch of the ball, Teshome unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards. Charles Bwire was caught unawares and did not make an effort to save the ball as it sailed into the net. Fans went into a near delirium.

Before Kogalo fans had finished celebrating, George Onyango “Fundi” scored the second goal when he looped the ball over advancing Rivatex goalkeeper Charles Bwire Namudeche.

Gor Mahia continued to pile pressure even when 2-0 up. Meanwhile the rock solid defence with Tobias Ocholla, D=Zedekiah Otieno “Zico”, Paul Ochieng and skipper Austin Oduor held Rivatex at bay. Dangermen Alfayo Odongo and Charles Babu were effectively neutralized.

Gor Mahia went out winners with a 2-0 margin and pocketed the ksh 200,000 prize money. Rivatex as runners up got ksh 100,000.

Paul Ochieng (sleeping), Mike Teshome, Austin Oduor, Tom Odhiambo, Zedekiah Otieno, ??, Felix Otieno

Gor Mahia went on to win the league in 1991. Felix Otieno’s talents entertained fans throughout the year. But with his indiscipline, he fell out with coach Len Julians and soon left the club. Felix was probably more talented than his elder and more famous brother Benard Otieno “Zico”. It was a shame to see such talent go to waste. The free scoring Tom Odhiambo was an able replacement for Peter Dawo who also left soon after the Super Cup Match. His combination with Jared Ochieng Achieng was reminiscent of Shebe and Omollo years earlier. And of course Allan Odhiambo, a defensive midfielder / stopper, showed his class by scoring 12 goals. Quite an achievement for a defensive player. The biggest disappointment of that year was the poor performance that saw them eliminated by Highlanders of Zimbabwe in the 1st round of the Africa champions cup. It was that disaster that spurred patron Joab Omino to bring Len Julians back.

13 thoughts on “Down memory lane: The Inaugural Super Cup

  1. What a match it was. But sadly that was the begining of the decline of our football. Zeddy, P. Ochieng, Allan Odhiambo, Tom Odhiambo, Felix Otieno and Achieng Jared all went to establish themselves as very important players for Gor Mahia and the National team Harambee Stars. The team assembled now can emulate that group of players. With an unbiased selection process, we can provide atleast 7 players to the current Harambee Stars set-up. Go ahead and achieve that.

  2. muroro pacho you never dissapoint!,ever refreshing. thanx for the good work.
    I think the current crop of players should always look back to that ‘golden generation’,and the ‘dream team ‘ of the 80’s and early 90’s for inspiration and motivation.I just have a feeling that we are not very far away from the once mighty kogallo’.Tuzidi kuongeza bidii.

  3. Egyptian football is no stranger to ugly scenes of crowd violence
    By Farayi Mungazi BBC African football journalist

    The football world has been left in a state of shock following the violence in Egypt that left 74 people dead and more than 150 injured at the game between al-Masry and al-Ahly.

    But while Egyptians may have the rightful reputation as one of the world’s most passionate fans, they also have a dark side which inevitably manifests itself when things do not go their way on the pitch.
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    “Being black, I stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of Arab faces. One shirtless fan started shouting obscenities in my direction thinking I was a Nigerian journalist”

    I experienced this first hand in 2003 when covering the final of the African Champions League – the continent’s most prestigious club tournament.

    Within seconds of Nigerian club Enyimba defeating local Egyptian side Ismaili, missiles rained down on the pitch as fans vented their anger at their team’s performance.

    As there were hardly any visiting supporters, the Ismaili fans picked on anyone they suspected of not being one of them, namely the police.

    Being black, I stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of Arab faces. One shirtless fan started shouting obscenities in my direction, thinking I was a Nigerian journalist.

    From that moment, the crowd grew even more frenzied, with another supporter grabbing a small BBC satellite on the edge of the VIP stand and thowing it at police officers trying to arrest one of his colleagues.

    Before I knew it, an officer in riot gear had whisked me away to the safety of the dressing rooms.

    I was to stay there for the next five hours as we waited for the orgy of violence, which had shifted away from the terraces into the streets of Ismailia, to end.

    When things eventually calmed down, I saw a scene outside the ground that resembled the aftermath of a bomb blast – cars with smashed-out windows and all kinds of debris strewn everywhere.

    However, in a nation with a proud footballing tradition, fan-related violence is not unique to Ismaili.

    Fans of al-Ahly, the country’s most successful club, remain the most talked about issue in Egyptian football.
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    Footage showed debris, shoes and clothes abandoned inside the stadium

    The great Cairo club, known as the Red Devils, has a hardcore element known as Ultras, who have a particular reputation for violence.

    Much of the violence can be traced to hostilities between al-Ahly Ultras and rival factions of clubs like al-Masry and Zamalek.

    Mayhem threatens almost every match involving these teams, with police usually responding in large numbers.

    When you speak to Egyptian football fans, particularly those of an al-Ahly or al-Masry, they exude a sense of ownership over their team.

    Not only do al-Ahly and al-Masry supporters hurl crude insults at each other during matches, they also dislike each other intensely.

    Football has long been a big positive in the lives of many Egyptians, a ray of light in the dark alley of poverty, unemployment and political repression that, until last year’s revolution , was their lot.

    This is why Egyptian football fans are some of the most passionate in the world, renowned for religious-style devotion to their teams.

    The visual and vocal displays they put on during matches are very much a culture of the Egyptian game, intimidating many an opponent through the years.

    They chant songs support of their team and set off fireworks, light flares and display provocative banners designed to goad the opposition.

    However, the tragic loss of life during the match on Wednesday further tarnishes the image of a country that has produced African legends like Mahmoud El-Khatib, Mahmoud El-Gohary and Hossam Hassan.

  4. Despite a few hiccups i believe we have the right mix i.e EC,technical bench n more so the playing unit to match the achievements of yesteryear more so the magic of ’87. Player no.12 is in top form n evaluation of rest starts sunday!
    My colours r GREEN at home n WHITE away let the team identify with the fans by adorning the correct club colours!


    The Sunday match between the 2011 KPL winners and 2011 FKL Champions, will be a curtain raiser for this season.

    I wish at the outset pledge my personal support to the K’ogalo if as we aim for a treble this season. The green army equally deserve my commendation for their unflinching support over the seasons. I do hope we shall carry forward the same undying spirit & unrelenting support.

    As we tour several counties as travelling fans, I always urge you to exercise utmost responsibility both individually and collectively. We carry the image of the club. It is barbaric and immoral to pelt stones and other objects to the SuperSport equipments and crew. It is criminal to want to watch a match for no fee at all.

    As for the Sunday match, we are going nothing short of a win. This is the first real test coach Awono who has been touted as the Wenger of K’ogalo by a section of our fans. But for me and my bossom blogger colleague, Albert Kosero of Kampala branch, we pledged our full support to the new coach. Happy new year ladies and gentlemen and let the party begins.

  6. Thanks Muroro. Great piece of history.

    After watching three of the many friendlies Kogalo have had since the break i have concluded that we have a good team. The team is good and will be quite tactical this season.

    The only problem i see is that there seems to be no leader in the field. The team at times looses concentration especially in midfield and needs a leader among the players. All great teams must have a leader. One who fights to the end. Who is ours? Jerim is our captain but is always watching the game quietly between the posts. Who will lead our team? The coaches must identify a player who is never substituted and make him team leader at once. He must have game reading skills, passion, energy and a winning mentality.

    Let’s meet at Nyayo. All the best boys.

  7. @oduor12: i started supporting gor way back in 1979 and blue has always been part of the official gor color or correct as you put it.

  8. Once again to ALL BLOGGERS BRANCH MEMBERS,we meet tomorrow to chart our way forward.the above article is good. Memory are made of this.

  9. To my beloved Kogalo, make mine 4 domestic trophies and 1 continental cup this season. The DSTV Cup, Top 8 Cup, FKF Cup, KPL Cup, CAF Cup.

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