Kenya mourns former footballer Kevin Oliech

Kenya mourns former footballer Kevin Oliech

Danny Ogega  in Nairobi

The Kenyan sports fraternity has joined hands in mourning the death of Mathare United’s 2008 Kenya Premier League title-winning lynchpin Kevin Opiyo “Yeboah” Oliech who lost his battle with cancer Sunday evening in a German hospital.

Oliech notably turned out for Gor Mahia, Tusker FC, Mathare United, Thika United, and Nairobi City Stars before moving to Germany where he featured for fifth-tier side KFC Uerdingen 05 and second division outfit Alemannia Aachen before turning his back on the soccer big-time stage.

He was a brother to former Kenyan international Dennis ‘The Menace’ Oliech.

Kenyans, led by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed took to social media to convey their heartfelt condolences.

“It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the passing on of Kevin Opiyo Oliech who played for various Kenyan and international clubs.

“Kevin was a talented and hardworking soccer player who made great contributions to the growth of the sport in the country.

“I convey my condolences to the family, friends, relatives, fellow footballers, and the entire sports fraternity for this major loss. May God rest his soul in peace,” she wrote on Twitter.

His former side Mathare United remembered him for his critical role to their 2008 KPL title-winning campaign, describing his death as a blow to the family.

“We would like to pass our condolences to the Oliech family following the death of Kevin “Yeboah” Oliech on Sunday evening.

“Kevin was part of our 2008 title-winning squad and always gave his best whenever he donned the yellow and green jersey. He continued the legacy of the Oliech family at Mathare United adding to Dennis Oliech’s goals and Andrew Oyombe’s composure in midfield.

“His death is a big blow to the Mathare United fraternity and we would like to urge all our alumni to support the Oliech family during these tough times,” the clubs said in a post on their official Facebook page.

Former Nairobi City Stars tactician Timy Bryett described him as a ‘gem’ the world never discovered.

“Kevin Oliech-The world would know how good the boy was, and taken from us too soon,” he tweeted.

He lauded the unmatched work ethic that made him stand out of the rest during his stint at the Hope Center based side.

“When I took charge of Nairobi City Stars FC, I was warned that I would have trouble with two players, one of which was Kevin Oliech. Let me tell you that he was one of the hardest working, professional, kindest, and talented players I have ever had,” he tweeted.

Victor Wanyama, Harambee Stars skipper who turns out for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact consoled his family saying they had lost a ‘wonderful’ soul.

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kevin Oliech. Prayers to the family during this time of sorrow,” he tweeted.

His former teammate and buddy Innocent Mutiso remembered him as a friend and talented hard worker.

“Kevo nakumbuka ukiniambia “omunyambis Enda uchukue key ya room” kila time, tukitravel na Mathare united. Rest easy roommate, you have suffered enough with the cancer Kevin Shenjende Oliech, my sincere condolences to the Oliech family, that they may have strength during this time,” his post on Facebook read.

Oliech had battled cancer for the last four years before succumbing to the disease

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