Gor Mahia legend Allan Thigo made his debut for K’Ogalo in the Nairobi Provincial League match against Algenya having just joined the team from Kisumu Hot Stars.
And what a debut it was, scoring a goal as Gor Mahia won 3-0 - Peter Ouma “Pele” with the other two; their first victory of the season having previously drawn their first two games against Kenya Breweries (1-1) and Kenya Air Force (2-2) – although the first game would later be awarded to Breweries after Gor Mahia were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.
Thigo would go on and score more than 10 goals in his debut season (the records from that season are still currently incomplete) and would end up becoming perhaps Gor Mahia’s greatest ever midfield player.
While it is widely believed that Hesbon Omollo is perhaps Gor Mahia’s leading all-time scorer with 83 goals, I have so far been able to document 78 goals by Thigo in official games for the club, and with a chunk of records missing from the 1970 season and the shortlived 1971 season, it is highly likely that Thigo scored more goals for the club than Hesbon Omollo.
Quite a remarkable feat for a player who operated from deep midfield. And some of those goals were pretty important too. His equalizer against Luo Union at the beginning of the 1976 season and winners in the next two games against Bata Bullets and Champion ensured the team got off to a winning start before Maurice Ochieng “Sonyi” found his footing in a season that the club would clinch the league for the third time, and more importantly, unbeaten.
His two goals against Abaluhya in the Challenge Cup that season saw K’Ogalo dish out a 4-1 hiding to their old enemy, one of the heaviest defeats Gor has ever inflected on Ingwe. This was followed by the winner against GEMA to propel the club to the quarter finals. With 8 goals, Thigo finished the season as the club’s second highest scorer behind the free scoring Sonyi.
Having won the league in such a commanding style in 1976, a lot was expected from Gor Mahia on the continental front the following season but they were surprised by Malawi’s Yamaha Wanderers at City Stadium and lost the game 1-2. With Gor written off for the tie, Thigo would stun the Malawians at home by scoring twice as Gor won the game 2-1, the second goal coming very late in the game, and proceed to win the penalty shootout.
His heroics in the continent would continue in 1979 when he scored crucial goals away in Upper Volta (against Kadiogo) in the quarter finals and away in Conakry against tournament favorites Horoya FC in the second leg of the semi-finals. Horoya FC were considered the strongest team in Africa that year.
Thigo’s final goal for the club would come against another illustrious opponent, Yanga, in the 1982 CECAFA club championship. In the process he also got 86 caps for his country, only bettered by Jonathan Niva and Musa Otieno.