CECAFA '85 - The Grand Homecoming

When we arrived in Nairobi, it was all chaos at the airport and we were driven off the place direct from the plane. The management of the airport wanted us out and we did not even go through customs or immigration.

The airport was full with Gor Mahia fans and it took us 3 hours to reach our destination, Milimani Hotel. At every place we stopped, the fans cleaned the road. Nairobi-Mombasa road was a NO GO ZONE. Even a king could envy the way we were received.

At the hotel, top dignitaries including The late Hon. Joab Omino spoke and appreciated our success and this made Hon. William Odongo Omamo do a jig in thanking K'Ogalo. The Late Hon. Omamo was to later pay for all the trees that fell at the airport at a cost of Ksh. 30,000. Word went round that William Obwaka's parents home was set on fire in Mumias.

I remember our allowances were duly paid and it was a cool Ksh. 2,500 from the Sports Ministry and a similar amount from the club totaling to Ksh. 5,000. This was a lot of money by then considering that a Zico jeans was going for 100/= and an Azzaro shirt 75/=. My Coast Bus ticket to Kisumu cost me 75/= at that time. I bought 3 Zico jeans and 3 Azzaro shirts before leaving for Kisumu. This was less than 700/=. Alot of celebratory side shows took place but i was not everywhere.

On arrival in Kisumu, i was received by my brothers especially Abdul Oronge who since childhood believed that i will play big time football. I later met my dad who asked me a simple question; Why did you not score in the finals against AFC? This was because that was the only time in his life that he listened to full match commentary on  the radio. I promised him to score the next time i play against Leopards.

This i did in May 1st 1985 when i scored a memorable goal against Leopards at Nyayo stadium in a League encounter, a goal which as always been accredited to Abass Magongo even in Gor Mahia websites. I want to clear the picture in this article that the second goal against Leopards was scored by Goro Oronge. Abass had scored the first goal after Francis Kadenge had put leopards on the lead through a free kick.

And then it occured to me why dad needed this goal. It reminded him of his early days that he duelled with Joe Kadenge and here i was duelling with Francis Kadenge. My late father Peter Oronge Goro played for Luo Union alongside Daniel Nicodemus, John Rabuogi, Ambrose Nyapada, James Siang'a amongst many others.

In his hey days, he captained the National team and later coached the team in the early sixties. He was a legend in football and football pundits tell me i could not reach his standards of the game. I was just a chip off the old block which i agree with but i would later play table tennis to the highest level to prove that i am a master of myself.

This was again in vain for my dad was a community champion together with Ezra Gumbe in table tennis in the late fifties and early sixties and observers said i was playing the same chopping game he used to play.

As i finish this series, i would like to thank all of you for reading this and may God bless.


Collins Okoth

Francis Kahata

Amos Nondi

Ernest Wendo

Antony Mbugua

Innocent Wafula

Baron Oketch

Godfrey Walusimbi

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