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Departed Nyongesa lauded for shaping country’s football

Roy Lumbe @PeopleSports11

Tears flowed freely during the requiem mass for former Harambee Stars coach Sammy Nyongesa at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru County yesterday.

Local footballers, family members, friends and former colleagues thronged the stadium to eulogise Nyongesa who they say shaped the country’s football history.

Mourners praised Nyongesa as a visionary and selfless leader, whose legacy will last for many years. He was described as great leader who was able to empower youth through football within the county and the nation as a whole.

Nyongesa succumbed to prostate cancer while at the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital where he was receiving treatment on August 24.

The former national team coach started his football career at the Kenya Farmers Association FC in 1974 before joining Bata Limuru in 1988.

He joined the national senior team Harambee Stars under 18 in 1979 before leaving for Germany to train as a coach. He coached the Nakuru youth Olympic team before managing the senior Harambee Stars.

The wife, Ruth Atieno Nyongesa said that the death had robbed her of a loving husband who was a father to many.

She said the two met at the Afraha Stadium 38 years ago during a match when he was still a player in his prime. “I first met Nyongesa 38 years ago when he was still a player at Afraha stadium, his play was great and I loved football that is where it all began,” she said.

According to her, Nyongesa was a disciplined man and a responsible father who was social and loved sports.

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