Gor Mahia F.C.
|Full name||Gor Mahia Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||K'Ogalo (House of Ogalo)
|Founded||17 February 1968|
|Ground||Moi International Sports Centre, Kenya|
|Head coach||Bobby Williamson|
|League||Kenyan Premier League|
|Website||Club home page|
Gor Mahia Football Club is a football club based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the current Kenyan Premier League champions. Like their rivals A.F.C. Leopards, they have won the Kenyan Premier League a record 13 times, and have also won the FKF President's Cup a record 10 times. They are the only team from Kenya and the CECAFA region to win an African continental title to date, having won the African Cup Winners' Cup in 1987. after being finalists in 1979.
The club was formally established in February 17, 1968 as a merger of Luo Union and Luo Sports Club (also known as Luo Stars) and won the national league at the first time of asking. Some of its original leaders were politicians Tom Mboya and Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga. However the club was founded much earlier, in the 1910s, and participated intermittently in local tournaments in Western Kenya. Various groups used this name at different times. The club's home ground is the Nairobi City Stadium. Alternate stadiums are Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani and Nyayo National Stadium. It has been proposed that the club hosts some of its home matches at its alternate stadiums in its earlier days, Moi Stadium, Kisumu, once renovated and Mombasa Municipal Stadium.
As of 2010, Gor had started bouncing back to fame steadily bringing back Kenyan football fans back to the pitch and regularly filling sold-out stadiums.
The club returned to silverware in 2008 when it won the KFF Cup after a thirteen-year drought of any major trophies. Gor proceeded to win the Kenya DSTV Super Cup against the year's defending champs, Mathare United before the beginning of the 2009 KPL season. On October 26, 2011 Gor Mahia in typically dominant fashion trounced Sofapaka to win the 2011 edition of the FKL Cup having dispatched their archrivals AFC Leopards 6 days earlier in an October 20 Heroes Day thriller.
In 1976, Gor Mahia became the first Kenyan football club to win the National League unbeaten thanks to the exploits of playmaker Allan Thigo who also acted as coach. He was ably assisted by stars such as Festus Nyakota, James Ogolla and new recruits Jerry Imbo who had been recruited from Black Mamba and legendary goalpoacher Maurice Ochieng who had been recruited from Kenya Police. Goalkeeper George Ayuka was in sensational form throughout the season. Maurice Ochieng finished as leading scorer in the league with 20 goals, ahead of the legendary William Ouma Chege who scored 16. The 1976 is one of the strongest the club had ever fielded. It included such stars as Masanta Osoro, Paul Oduwo 'Cobra', Festus Nyakota, Duncan Aluko and Duncan Migan, all of whom played for the national team at one point. Current Roads Minister in the Kenyan Cabinet Chris Obure also played for Gor in the 1970s.
In the 1979 Africa Cup winners Cup final, Gor Mahia faced Canon Yaounde of Cameroun, the defending champions. Over confidence played a part in Gor Mahia losing the 1st leg 0-2. Lack of experience took its toll as Gor Mahia inexplicably lost the second league 0-6. There were unconfirmed rumours that some players had been bribed.
Gor Mahia won the inaugural Moi Golden Cup by beating Bandari 1-0 in the final. An injury time goal by Hezborn Omollo secured the victory at Nyayo stadium. The tough Bandari outfit coached by Mohammed Kheri was at the time playing in the Coast Provincial League. Winning the Moi Golden Cup enabled Gor Mahia to participate in the 1987 Africa Cup Winners Cup.
In 1989 K'Ogalo retained the Moi Golden Cup for the 3rd successive year by beating Kenya Breweries 2-0 in the final. After the match, Abass Magongo who was man of the match was carried shoulder high by fans. Gor Mahia however lost the league title to a resurgent AFC Leopards who benefited from their recruiting spree and sponsorship from Crown Paints. Having won the Moi Golden Cup the previous year, Gor Mahia were back in the Cup winners Cup in 1989. In the 1st round they received a walk over when Villa of Uganda pulled out. In round 2 they beat Costa Do Sol of Mozambique 2-1 at home and tied them 0-0 away. In the quarter finals they faced LPRC Oilers of Liberia. The 1st leg was played at Nyayo stadium. Gor Mahia played a disjointed game and the game ended 0-0. By this time, After the match, Liberian players celebrated as if they had won a Cup final. Gor Mahia team manager told the media that K'Ogalo would conquer the return leg. Indeed they did, winning 3-1 in Monrovia. Coach Mohammed Kheri had been drafted from Bandari on a temporary basis to replace Johnson. In the semis they faced El Merreikh of Sudan. After winning the 1st leg 1-0, they lost 0-2 in the return leg in Omdurman. So Gor Mahia bowed out in the semi final.
1996 was the most disastrous year in the club's history. They were eliminated in the 1st round of the Africa champions league by Zimbabwean outfit, Dynamos, leading to the worst riots ever seen in Nairobi. In the League they finished 8th which was unprecedented in the clubs history. In 1997, the club recovered and almost won the National League, only losing by goal difference to eventual winners, Utalii. Among the players who were instrumental in that campaign were Victor Onyango in goal; Josiah Ougo and Tillen Oguta in defence; Frazier Ochieng and Dan Ogada in midfield and Bonaventure Maruti, Steve Okumu and Steve Odiaga in attack. The club was unable to hold on to these superb players, many of whom left for various destinations including the Middle East. The last two years of the 20th century were characterised by inconsistent performances by the club mainly due to lack of finances. Because the club was flat broke they were been unable to hire a qualified professional coach, Additionally the club has been unable to retain its quality players most of whom left after a short period for greener pastures.
At one point, the club refused to pay a KPL imposed fine. KPL Managing Director received full payment of the Gor Mahia penalty from an anonymous "senior official of another KPL club" who wrote in an unsigned letter that "it is deeply disappointing that a few colleagues who are senior Gor Mahia officials refuse to respect the KPL policy against assaults on referees which their representative approved in February. Their refusal to respect the rules also saddens me because it is not those officials but their own players who are suffering the most after playing so well this year. Out of respect and sympathy for the Gor Mahia players, I enclose full payment of Ksh 45,063 so they can resume playing …" 
From a financial perspective, 2011 was a landmark year because that was the year that Gor Mahia secured a serious shirt sponsorship for the first time ever. Previously in 1991, Gor Mahia wore shirts emblazoned International Casino. However the proceeds from that sponsorship are unknown and clouded in mystery. The Kshs 38 millionTuzo sponsorship by Spin-Knit Dairy was the most lucrative by any club in Kenya when announced. Gor Mahia went on to win the FKL Cup and finish fourth in the league.
At the beginning of the season, the club acquired Moses Odhiambo a former international who had played in Tanzanian and Rwandese leagues and he proved to be a revelation. Teenage striker, Edwin Lavatsa was also a big hit in his first season in the KPL. After strong performances in mid-season, the steam run out and Gor finished 4th in the league, largely due to disharmony in the Technical bench and overcommitment of Head Coach Zedekiah Otieno to the national team, Harambee Stars. In Otieno's absence, Camerounian assistant coach led the club to win the FKL Cup after beating bitter rivals AFC Leopards in the semis and then edging out Sofapaka in the finals. The club also conducted its elections towards the end of November and brought in many youthful officials.
Gor Mahia has started the 2012 season in high tempo after attending the traditional Nyanza tour to meet fans and recruit more players from the fanatical homeland. The tour itself was a grueling 6 day affair where the team played 9 matches winning 7 and drawing two.
The club went on a signing spree in preparation for the 2012 CAF Confederations Cup netting more than 10 players. Baldin Ngwa Afa'nwi and Ibrahim Kitawi rejoined. Soccer pundits and fans had cautiously termed this as one of the strongest squads ever in decades at the club. However, this was not to be as the club, despite a winning start against Thika United in the league on 12 February 2012, went on to lose to debutantes Muhoroni United, losing away 0-3, 1-0 at home to Ferroviario de Maputo of Mozambique in the first hurdle of CAF confederation Cup. These coupled with the Dstv Charity Shield loss to Tusker FC and another league loss to Sher Karuturi of Naivasha led to the disbandment of the entire technical team led by Anaba Awono. Others shown the door included assistant coach Ken Odhiambo, TM Jolawi Obondo, assisting coach Julius Owino and fitness coach Zablon 'Pro' otieno.
John Bobby Ogolla
A caretaker coach, former captain and all-time legend Bobby Ogolla, took the position of head coach, assisted by Technical manager Tom Ogweno (a former Kenya national striker and Ulinzi Stars player) and was immediately thrust into tough fixtures against Tusker and A.F.C. Leopards. The team gave a very good account of themselves in both games despite losing 2-0 to the former and drawing 0-0 against the in-form Leopards in a match marred by crowd trouble.
In the next matches, Gor drew 1-1 with Rangers and 0-0 with Sony as Ogolla tried to steady the ship from sinking.
In April 2012, Croatian tactician Zdravko Logarusić was drafted as Head Coach. Bobby Ogolla, ever the gentleman, accepted to deputise. The first match for the pair ended in 1-1 with Mathare United, followed by a 0-1 loss to Oserian FC, a win against Sofapaka and a loss against Ulinzi in late April. This was the last loss for the club this year in any match. From there the club has won 7 out 8 KPL matches against Nairobi City Stars, Chemelil FC, KCB FC, Western stima - by doing the double in both legs except for a 1st leg fixtures ender draw against Stima. In August 12, the club is number 6th on the log after languishing in relegation places in the first two months of the 2012 league. The club also has qualified for the KPL Top 8 tourney final against Ulinzi after dispatching Tusker in both legs of the semi-final. This after, getting a walkover in the quartes against AFC Leopards who 'feared' showing up on matchday, giving a myriad of excuses.
Gor Mahia also qualified for the next round of the FKF Cup (the domestic title) after dispatching Borabu Chiefs 5-2 and are in contention for a treble. This success is attributed to the good working synergy in the technical bench, a tough fitness regime introduced by a Finnish expert, acquisition of a professional goalkeeper coach but mostly to the excellent field combination of the team's players. The technical bench has revamped and reorganised the playing unit to create a potent force within just a few months.
After failing to return on time from holiday, Logarusić was sacked with immediate effect on 25 June 2013, and replaced by former Uganda national team manager Bobby Williamson 9 days later, on 5 July 2013.
- As of 25 August 2012.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Head coach||Bobby Williamson|
|Assistant head coach||John Bobby Ogolla|
|Technical director||Tom Ogweno|
|Goalkeeper coach||Iddi Salim|
- 1980, 1981, 1985
- 1968, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2013
- 1976, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 2008, 2011, 2012
Performance in CAF competitions
- CAF Confederation Cup: 3 appearances
- African Cup of Champions Clubs: 8 appearances
- CAF Cup: 2 appearances
- 1993 - Quarter-Finals
- 1998 - First Round
- CAF Cup Winners' Cup: 7 appearances
- Gor Mahia F.C.–A.F.C. Leopards rivalry
- Patrick Korir (25 June 2013). "Logarusic fired". Futaa.com. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Dennis Machio (25 June 2013). "Zdravko Logarusic has been fired". MichezoAfrika.com. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Dennis Mabuka (25 June 2013). "Gor Mahia part ways with coach Zdravko Logarusic". Goal.com. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Kenya Television Network (25 June 2013). "Gor Mahia fire coach Logarusic". KTN Kenya's channel on YouTube. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- Wilson Mathu (5 July 2013). "Bobby Williamson to take over at Gor Mahia". Futaa.com. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Former Uganda national team coach Bobby Williamson accepts terms with Gor Mahia". StandardMedia.co.ke. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Ex-Cranes coach Bobby joins Kenya’s Gor Mahia". MTNFootball.com. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "First team". Gor Mahia F.C. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Daily Nation website, January 24, 2009 Gor tear Mathare United apart
- http://www.gormahiafc.co.ke - Official club website
- http://www.gormahia.net - Official fans website
- http://kenyapage.net/gormahia - Unofficial website
- http://www.kpl.co.ke - Kenya Premier League
- http://www.kenyanfootie.com Kenyan Footie - Kenyan Football Portal
- http://www.kenyanstar.co.ke kenyanstar.co.ke - For comprehensive, unbiased coverage of all Kenyan sport