Gor Mahia team of the decade: 2000-2009

1. George Odhiambo “Taffarel: A solid goalkeeper who would often step forward to take penalties.
2. Francis Akango “Jakambare”: A solid no nonsense fullback
3. Chris Wekesa: A burly fullback whose solid play in 2008 and 2009 saw him called to the national team
4. Eric Masika “PPO”: The youthful Masika was a crowd favourite in 2009
5. Julius Owino “Awilo”: A natural leader who captained club and country
6. Andrew Oyombe: Effectively shielded the defence and featured prominently for the national team and also played in Europe
7. Kenneth Omondi: Was voted Transparency cup MVP in 2005
8. Zablon Otieno “Pro”: Skillful left footed midfielder who was a brilliant playmaker.
9. Emmanuel Wakata: A free scoring attacker who later played in Rwanda
10 George Odhiambo “Blackberry”: His best years were between 2008 and 2010 when he was league MVP
11. Habil Otieno: An effective goal poacher who scored often from half chances.

Substitutes

Jacktone Odhiambo
Charles Odipo
Patrick Oyiengo “Adesh”,

Honorable Mention

Jimmy Bagaye, Robert Oluoko, Charles Odipo, Dan Onyango, Tony Onyango, Andrew Ongwae, Tom Odundo, Charles Ojwang, Nathan Munai, Steve Biko, Sylvanus Onyango, Bramwel Karamoja, Ibrahim Kitawi, Duncan Owiti “Macheda”, Stephen Ochola, Elisha Ochieno “Achach”, John Kiplagat

Gor Mahia team of the decade: 1990-1999

Victor Onyango: A brilliant goalkeeper yet full of drama
Zedekiah Otieno: Overlapping right back who starred for both club and country and was coach of both club and country
Tiellen Oguta: An uncompromising full back who went on to play in Europe
Josiah Ougo: A composed yet solid central defender
Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”: One of the best defensive stoppers this country has seen
Tom Juma: A tireless box to box midfielder
Allan Odhiambo: A towering defensive midfielder who often scored as many goals as the strikers. In the 1991 league campaign, he was the club’s leading scorer.
Dan Ogada: An engine that was able to drive the team forward, create chances, deliver brilliangt through balls and with supreme ball control
John Odhiambo “Baresi”: A highly capable dribbler, remembered for outplaying the Super Eagles in that epic encounter in 1997
Steve Okumu: A reliable goalscorer who used his quick first step to evade defenders.
Steve Odiaga: A powerful and towering attacker

Substitutes

Joseph Asembo: A towering goalkeeper, very good with high balls
Paul Ochieng: Burly defender who intimidated strikers with his size
Bonaventure Maruti: A speedy attacker who scored freely. Went on to play for many years in Europe.
Charles Oduor: A reliable fullback
Mike Otieno: An explosive left winger with incredible acceleration. He later became the team’s coach.

Honourable Mention

Stephen Kinuthia “Kenos”, Charles Oduor “Fundi”, Albert Njeru, William Odidi, Joseph Akinga, Frazier Ochieng, Tom Ochieng “Malindi”, Tom Okaya, Brian Okumu, Bramwell Mwololo, George Owalla, George Sunguti, Joseph Owino Andai “Conte”, George Sunguti, Dan Shikanda, Tom Odhiambo, Charles Omondi “Korea”, Felix Otieno, Jared Ochieng Achieng, Hezron Omondi “Othuks”, Joseph Akinga, Zelleallem Teshome, Pius Wamaya, Michael Kisaghi, Eric Obura, Aggrey Obonyo, David Odhiambo “Deo”

Gor Mahia team of the decade : 1980-1989

1. David Ochieng: Solid no drama keeper who starred for both club and country.
2. Tobias Ocholla: Reliable and created several goals with his long throw ins
3. Peter Otieno “Bassanga”: Industrious left back
4. Bobby Ogolla: The best defensive stopper this country has ever seen
5. Austin Oduor: The most succesful team captain in Kenya’s history
6. Charles Otieno: The Engine of the team
7. Abbas Magongo: Tireless, skillful and covered every inch of the field
8. Sammy Owino: Immensely talented midfielder who scored brilliant inidvidual goals
9. George Onyango: Schemer par supreme
10. Peter Dawo: Known for his goal-scoring spree in 1987. Was voted Among Africa’s 10 best players in 1987
11. Nahashon Oluoch: Brilliant dribbler who also scored superb individual goals. Also voted among Africa’s 10 best

Substitutes

Tirus Omondi: An acrobatic goalkeeper and full of drama
Swaleh Ochieng: Powerfully built left back who shut down opposing players with robust tackles
John Okello Zangi: Enigmatic, tireless, and very dexterious on the ball
Sammy Onyango: Superb crosser, corner taker and penalty taker. Two footed
Hezborn Omollo: Scored over 50 league goals between 1983 and 1985

Honorable Mention

George Odembo “Nyangi”, George Otieno “Vigo”, George Otieno “Solo”, Isaiah Omondi “Janabi”, Ben Oloo “Breakdance”, Gideon Hamisi “Aziki”, Enock Obwaka, Hamisi Shamba, Abdallah Shebe, William Obwaka, Goro Oronge, Jaffar Mwidau, Ignatius Khaduli, Hezron Osuka, John Chore, Anthony Ndolo, Mike Adede, Abbey Nassur, Peter Ochieng “Pierre”,

Gor Mahia team of the Decade 1968-1979

1. Dan Odhiambo: Had the sharpest reflexes of any Kenyan goalkeeper
2. Paul Oduwo “Cobra”: Tirelessly ran up and down the right flank. Kept defenders at bay with robust tackles
3.  Festus Nyakota: A solid no-nonsense fullback
4. James Ogolla “Kadir”: Versatile defender who played in central defence and on the flanks
5. Mike Ogolla “Machine”: Nicknamed Machined because he dealt easily with opposing attacks
6. Jerry Imbo: Very talented midfielder who made everything look easy
7. George “Best” Yoga: Still one of the top 5 scorers in the history of the club
8. Steve “McQueen” Yongo: Played superbly in defense midfield and attack. Starred at the 1972 AFCON
9. William Ouma “Chege”: The best striker Kenya produced before Dennis Oliech
10. Allan Thigo: The high priest of Gor Mahia football. The best ever playmaker Kenya has produced
11. Peter Ouma “Pele” : Efficient scorer who also scored for Kenya at the 1972 AFCON

Subs

James Sianga: Take no prisoners goalkeeper who later became a succesful coach
Nicodemus Arudhi: Efficient Inside right who scored often and later became infamous
Tim Ayieko: Ugandan with kenyan roots who starred for the Uganda Cranes
Maurice Ochieng: Led the league in scoring in 1976
Andrew Obunga: Explosive centre forward

Honorable Mention

Ben Oballa, Masanta Osoro, Chris Obure, Jaoko Orifwa, Jackson Aluko, Samson Odore, Duncan Migan, Fred Siranga, George Ayuka, Charles Ondiek “Racham”, Sospeter Otin, Walter Molo, Maurice Ole Tunda, Francis Midany “Power”, Josphat Okello “Smart”, Amos Nandy, Sammy Ndonga, Simon Nyatome, Festus Nyakota, Tom Oyake, Owen Nandi, Paul Odhiambo, Laban Otieno

Austin Oduor: Kenya’s most successful team captain

Austin Oduor Origi is remembered as one of the most illustrious footballers that Kenya has ever produced. In a career that spanned over a decade, the player popularly known as “Makamu” starred for both Gor Mahia and the national team Harambee stars, captaining both sides and leading both Gor Mahia and Harambee stars to their best ever performances at continental level.

Footballing family

Formative Days

 

Breaking into the starting Line-up

 

Switching from midfield to central defence

 

A young Austin Oduor (in a kitenge) with other Kogalo players in Mombasa in 1983. Others are Sammy Onyang0 (blue shirt), Hezborn Omollo (red jacket) and Peter Ochieng (black tracksuit)

Three consecutive League Titles

 

Austin in the forefront, posing with the CECAFA club cup after Kogalo won in 1985

Breaking into the national team

 

Austin pictured here after scoring the decisive penalty

Continental Glory

 

Makamu (number six) celebrates as Dawo scores against Esperance

Captain of the national team

Harambee stars captain Austin Oduor and Harambee stars coach Mohamed Kheri receiving jerseys that were donated by the German government. This was prior to the 1990 Africa Nations cup. Next to them is former Stars coach Bernard Zgoll

Glory as player-coach

 

Makamu with other national team legends, Joe Kadenge and Mahmoud Abbas

Comparing his days to today.

Austin Oduor Pictorial

 

Lifting the cup winners cup in 1987

 

This is 1990 during Makamu’s stint as player coach. Here he tussles with Rivatex goalkeeper Charles Bwire during the Moi golden cup semis

 

Makamu with William Obwaka, George Nyangi, Ben Oloo, Enock Obwaka and team manager Amos Nandi in Sudan in 1985

 

Introducing players during the Motokura cup final in 1986

 

Makamu introduces Peter Otieno Bassanga to president Moi before playing Inter Club of Congo in 1988

 

Makamu and Sammy Onyango present the three trophies that Gor Mahia won in 1987 to President Moi

 

Makamu today with other former players David Ochieng, George Onyango and Ben Oloo

 

With the young boys in his role as Sports Talent promotions coordinator

 

Helping sharpen the next generation of football talents

 

With media personality Carol Radull at Kasarani

 

Still playing. With former team-mate Mike Otieno Image courtesy of Fred Nyakiamo (right)

 

With former team-mate Mike Otieno

Shujaa Bobby Ogolla still cementing his legacy


Gor Mahia assistant coach John Bobby Ogolla was recently honoured during the Mashujaa day celebrations along with other footballing legends Joe Kadenge and Mahmoud Abbas.

No footballer in Kenya has accomplished more than Bobby Ogolla as both player and coach. Inhis playing days, Ogolla who was fondly known as the “six million dollar man” won multiple trophies while playing in the defensive stopper position. As a youngster, he was a member of the Gor Mahia side that reached the Africa cup winners cup final in 1979. It marked the first time that a team from East and central Africa had accomplished such a feat.

Ogolla would then play a pivotal role in the Gor Mahia sides that won the CECAFA club cup in 1980, 1981 and 1985. On the local scene, Bobby Legend was the key defensive pillar as Gor Mahia won the national league in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987.  With Ogolla in central defence, Gor Mahia would win the domestic   cup (then known as Moi golden cup ) in 1986 and 1987. That last year 1987 was the year when Gor Mahia went on to achieve continental glory.  That was Ogolla’s last season in action.

At national team level, Bobby Legend was the player who held the national team defence together. It was during this period that Harambee stars won the CECAFA senior challenge cup three times (1981, 1982 and 1983). And this was during a time when when Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe were full time CECAFA members.  During this period , Ogolla was recognized as the best defensive stoppper in the CECAFA region. To this day he is remembered by fans from Tanzania, Uganda and as far south as Zambia and Zimbabwe. None other than legendary goalkeeper Mahmoud Abbas considered Bobby Ogolla as the most crucial player in Harambee stars defence.

 

Bobby Ogolla with Peter Ochieng “Pierre” during his playing days

 

Ogolla was also in the Harambee stars squad that reached the final of the 1987 All African games. During this period, the All Africa games was a tournament for full strength national teams and not U23 as it is today. In fact Kenya came very close to winning that tournament but for a dubious goal scored by the Egyptians from what looked like an offside position. That feat remains to this day, the greatest performance by the Kenyan national team.

Ogolla’s defining moment came in the 1982 CECAFA cup final in Kampala. Kenya met hosts Uganda who had been heavily favoured.  The Cranes still had many of the players who had helped them reach the Africa nations cup final 4 years earlier. As hosts Uganda were expected to win. Bobby was assigned the task of marking Ugandan dangerman Issa Ssekatawa. The same Ssekatawa who was rop scorer in the Ugandan league three times in a row. Bobby completely marked Ssekatawa out of the game. The Ugandan attempted to intimidate Bobby with a vicious elbow to Bobby;s forehead. Bobby left the game briefly and received seven stitches while on the sideline. He came back and played like a true hero for the rest of the game with his forehead heavily bandaged and needing constant medical attention.

The word “dying a little for the country”comes to mind when people remember Bobby’s performances for Harambee stars. He was an inspirational player who instilled confidence in the rest of the team. But his contribution at club and national level wasnot limited to defence. He is one of the best free-kick takers in the history of the country. In each league season he scored 3 or 4 goals from direct free kicks. He had one of the most powerful shots ever seen in the country. His immense physical strength and robust tackles intimidated many strikers. Hencethe nickname “six million dollar man”.

Upon completing his playing career, Bobby took to coaching. He was an assistant coach to Gerry Saurer who assembled what is possibly the best Under 21 team ever assembled to Kenya. He was also an assistant coach when Harambee stars qualified and went to the 1992 Africa Nations cup. In the interim period he had several stints as coach or assistant coach of Harambee stars.

In 2009, he was a member of the coaching staff at Sofapaka who went on to win the national league title. He later took over as the head coach in 2010. In 2012 he returned to Gor Mahia as interim coach and later assistant coach under Zdravko Logarusic. With Bobby as part of the technical bench, Gor Mahia has won the national league 3 times, the domestic cup once and the Super Cup twice.

Bobby  the Legend who hails from Seme location in Kisumu county clearly holds the record for most titles won in Kenya as both player and technical bench member. And he is without a doubt the best central defender Kenya has ever produced. And one of the most committed technical bench members in  the country today. His recognition as one of the Mashujaa of Kenya is highly deserved and he continues to build on his legacy.

Remembering Abbas Khamis Magongo

Rarely does a player have an impact on a club and its fans the way Abbass Khamis Magongo had on Gor Mahia and its fans in the years from 1984 and 1991. Ask any longtime Kogalo fan to pick the best all time player of the club and they will more than likely name the man fondly known as “Zamalek”. As any Kenyan fan and supporter of Harambee stars who the best midfielder ever to play for Kenya is and they will most likely say Abbass Khamis Magongo. Indeed the above two sentiments are confirmed by online polls.

 

Magongo (#16) tracking back to help keeper Tirus Omondi and sweeper Austin Oduor

Story by Muroro-Pacho

Milimani-Strathmore