Hail the champs! Mighty Gor’s crowning moment
Gor Mahia on Sunday ended a brilliant 2015 Kenyan Premier League campaign with a flawless 2-0 victory over Muhoroni Youth at a packed Nyayo National Stadium.
It was a historical moment as the Mighty K’Ogalo claimed the title unbeaten, just like the Gor Class of 1976.
Dead ball specialist Ali “Teargas” Abondo fired home a trademark freekick in the 62nd minute while striker Michael “Engineer” Olunga drove in beautifully from 18 yards in the 85th minute for his 19th goal in the season.
And on a cloudy afternoon in Nairobi, the ‘Green Army’ thronged the 30,000-seater stadium to witness the coronation.
The last time Gor won the gong unbeaten was in 1976 under Allan Thigo, who attained the feat as player-coach and on Sunday, seven of the all-conquering squad of that memorable year led by Thigo – who was christened “the 90 minute man” in his heyday – were in attendance.
The seven: James Odhiambo, Maurice “Ole” Tunda, Maurice Ochieng “Sonyi”, David Okello, Martin Ouma, Allan Thigo and Paul Ogolla were honoured prior to kick off as they lined up at the touchline donning the famous green jersey with the shirt numbers they wore in their heyday emblazoned at the back.
ROLLED BACK THE YEARS
Ole Tunda, who featured prominently for the club between 1971-1983, rolled back the years.
“The 1976 squad was composed of players whose surnames began with Os – meaning those who played for the team were all Luos. We played for pride and for the community. Today football has been commercialised and it’s a good thing that Gor Mahia now has imports from across the region.”
Thigo said: “We played fantastic and beautiful football back then. In our team, we were all Luos… now they have more imports.”
Moments to kick off, Muhoroni Youth players mounted a guard of honour for the champions.
On Wednesday, Western Stima bestowed a similar honour on Gor Mahia, who have now won the gong for three straight years.
At the packed “Russia” terraces, it was a carnival atmosphere as fans danced to drum beats. A giant white banner was mounted in front of Gate Six inscribed with the words: “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS”.
An ecstatic club skipper Jerim Onyango said before lifting the trophy:
“I want to say thank you (fans) and everyone who have made this year a success. This is history and we are very happy with what has happened.”
Meanwhile, Kenya Commercial Bank joined Nakuru All Stars in relegation after they drew 1-1 with Western Stima at the Kisumu County Stadium as Nairobi City Stars held Sony Sugar to a similar scoreline at the Nairobi City Stadium to confirm their safety.