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GOR MAHIA FOOTBALL CLUB

Gor Mahia Logo

Gor Mahia F.C., or Gor Taya as it is fondly referred to by its fans, is arguably one of Kenya's most successful soccer clubs. Outside Kenya, the club is respectfully referred to as Mighty Gor. Though based in Kenya's Capital city Nairobi, the club draws huge support from all over the country, but more so from Nyanza Province where the club originated. Among Gor's honours include 13 National League Titles, 8 local cups, 5 regional trophies and of course the single continental title(Mandela Cup) that separates the club from other Kenyan clubs.

Gor was formed in 1968 following the amalgamation of Luo United and Luo Stars Football Club. Gor entered the Kenyan soccer scene with a storm, winning the National League Title on its first attempt. The club is named after a famous medicine-man in the 19th century from Homa-Bay District in the Southern part of Nyanza Province. It was an attempt to counter the then powerful Luo Union F.C. from Northern Nyanza and Abaluhya Football Club(AFC) from Western Province. Gor's founding members include non other than the legendary freedom fighter Tom Mboya.

Among Gor's earliest stars in the 1970's include Jerry Imbo, James Ogolla "Kadir", Maurice Ouma "Ole Tunda", William "Chege" Ouma, Allan Thigo(Playmaker), George Ayuka, and winger George "Best" Yoga. 1979 was a monumental year for Gor, second only to 1987 when they conquered the Nelson Mandela Cup Title. In addition to winning the National league title in 1979, Gor reached the finals of the Africa Cup Winners Cup(Later called Mandela Cup), pitting them against the great Canon Sportiff De Yaounde of Cameroun. This was an unthinkable achievement by a Kenyan club at that time. An on-form Gor, carrying the aspiration of Kenyan soccer lovers on its shoulders was humiliated 8-0 by the Camerounian side amid allegations that some of its players might have bribed into sabotage. 5 players were later expelled from the club as a result of the bribery scandal. Gor miraculously survived this scandal which had initially threatened to tear the club apart. In spite of all this however, nothing can be taken away from the star-studded line-up Gor fielded that year. This included Dan Odhiambo in goal, Paul Oduwo "Cobra"(right back), Peter Otieno "Bassanga"(left back), John "Bobby" Ogolla(stopper), and Mike Ogolla "Machine"(sweeper). At Midfield we had the Ugandan Tim Ayieko(linkman), Sammy Owino "Kempes"(inside right) and Allan Thigo(Schemer). In attack there was Andrew Obunga(center forward), George "Best" Yoga(right wing) and the schoolboy sensation Nashon Oluoch "Lule"(left wing), then only a Form 6 student at Highway High School in Nairobi. On their trip to the finals of the African cup, Gor beat Al Ittihad of Egypt, Nsambya Stars of Uganda, Kadiogo of Upper Volta and Horoya of Guinnea.

Another major highlight in Gor's history would come in the mid 1980's, in yet another Africa Cup Winners Cup. After eliminating Yanga(Young Africans) of Tanzania in the first round, Gor was pitted against Zamalek of Egypt in Cairo. In a match mired by dubious officiating, a number of Gor's players were involved in a fight with their Egyptian counterparts when the Egyptians were awarded a questionable penalty kick. Gor's star midfielder Abbas Khamis Magongo was ejected from the match, which was later called off. Gor was slapped with 2 yr ban from Continental soccer. Abbas Magongo's nickname thus came to be Zamalek as a result of this incident. Gor was not only suspended from the tournament for two years, but 6 of its key players were banned from international soccer for two years too. This meant the said players could not be capped for 2 years. The affected players were Abbey Nassur, Otieno Solo, Abbas Magongo, Onyango Fundi, Bobby Ogolla and Abdalla Shebe. Their fiery coach Len Julians was also included in the ban.

In 1985, with the ban still in effect, Gor participated in the regional CECAFA Cup, also known as the East and Central Cup in Khartoum, Sudan. With its coach and six of its players still serving their bans, Gor's participation in the tournament was to many, just ceremonial. But the Mighty Gor, in one of the Club's sweetest victories ever, made it to the finals of the tournament and beat fellow countrymen AFC Leopards F.C. 2-0 to lift the Regional Trophy. Gor's new faces that were credited with this victory included George Nyangi Odembo "Artillery", William Obwaka and Swaleh Ochieng "Oswayo". This win, dubbed Khartoum 85 still remains among Gor's biggest wins ever, given the difficulties they had to overcome at that time.

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