Former Gor Mahia midfield ace Martin Ouma “Ogwanjo” has been remembered as a superb dribbler who played for the club for a decade and scored several crucial goals
Additional reporting from the Nation
While condoling with Ouma’s family from his Navakholo home in Kakamega County, Joram accused the government of neglecting former footballers who laid the foundation for the national team in 1960s and 70s.
“The government has neglected us and we are despised in society yet we played and carried the Kenyan flag high during our time. Do they want to pay us when we are dead and can’t enjoy the money?
I am living in poverty and I can hardly feed myself in old age yet I gave a lot for this country. My condolences to Martin’s family. We will really miss him,” said Joram, who played for Nakuru All Stars and Bata Bullets in the 60s and 70s.
At club level Ouma will be remembered for guiding Gor Mahia to an unbeaten record in 1976 Kenyan Premier League season as a captain, with Thigo as a player-coach.
Apart from Thigo the other member of Gor’s 1976 Kenyan Premier League-wining squad who are still alive are David Okello ‘Andiwo’, Paul Owuora, Maurice Ochieng’ ‘Sonyi’, Maurice Ouma ‘Ole Tunda’ and James Ogola ‘Kadir.’
Thigo remembers with nostalgia how Ouma helped K’Ogalo win the two-leg semi-final against Horoya FC of Guinea in Caf Cup Winners Cup in 1979.
“There are matches we won and things we achieved with Ouma in the team. However I will never forget the match against Horoya. He beat all of Horoya’s defenders at City Stadium and dribbled past them as we won 2-0 in front of our home fans. His dribbling skills also enabled us to win 1-0 away and we qualified for the final. Martin was really talented,” he added.
Thigo and Laban Otieno bagged the two goals in the first leg of the match at City stadium. Gor lost the final against Canon Sportif of Cameroon, but would later win the prestigious Mandela Cup in 1987.
Ouma’s brothers, James Onyango and George Onyango, also played for Posta Rangers in 80s and in the late 90s.
His son Wilson who studies Journalism at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication has taken after his father. He has been invited for trials with Gor Mahia at the end of the current season.