What you need to know:
- Motego joined National Super League side Shabana FC in the year 1983 as a striker as a Form One student at Cardinal Otunga Mosocho High School and guided the Kisii side to seal promotion to Kenya’s top football league.
- His national team high-point was when he scored twice in the famous 3-1 thumping of giants Algeria at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in a World Cup qualifier.
Former Kenyan international footballer Henry Motego and World Athletics reigning 5,000 metres champion, Hellen Obiri, will be recognised as heroes and heroines by the Kisii County Government during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii Stadium Tuesday.
Also to be recognised in a list of 24 are athletics legends Yobes Ondieki, and the late Nyantika Mayioro.
Kisii Governor James Ongwae said over the weekend the county wanted to appreciate the athletes for putting the country on the global map with their heroic feats.
Mr Ongwae said the recognition showed his administration’s resolve and seriousness in uplifting the sports sector in the county.
“Their outstanding performance in sports is commendable. Apart from recognising them as heroes and heroines, we have refurbished Gusii stadium which will be used by various sportsmen and women in our county and beyond. This field that is now of international standards will help nurture new talents,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will grace the national event. Motego is a former Harambee Stars and Shabana striker remembered for his goal scoring prowess and rampaging runs that tormented many a defence.
Obiri is one of the most decorated active athletes of the moment while Ondieki once ruled long distance running winning the 5,000m world title in 1990. Maiyoro was one of Kenya’s pioneer international runners of the 1950s and 60s.
Among first players
Motego is among the first players in Kenya to play outside Africa when he joined Al-Oruba club in Oman in 1992.
The 56-year-old, is currently a manager at the department of sports in the county government of Kisii where he is tasked with managing and nurturing upcoming talent in the region.
As a manager, he led the county football team to win the Kenya Inter-County Sports and Cultural Association (Kicosca) title in 2018.
“I thank the county government of Kisii for remembering me and I request them to consider my fellow sportsmen whom we were playing with,” said Motego.
He added, “This is the second time I am being recognised as a hero, the first time was in Machakos in 2016,” he told Nation Sport.
Motego joined the National Super League side Shabana FC in the year 1983 as a striker while a Form One student at Cardinal Otunga Mosocho High School and guided the Kisii side to seal promotion to Kenya’s top football league.
His national team high-point was when he scored twice in the famous 3-1 thumping of giants Algeria at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in a World Cup qualifying matches in 1996.
“That day we were totally charged up. Our coach, Gardsevic Vojo, had psyched us up and told us we could do it. When we went into the pitch we were all charged up and when we won the match, we were not surprised,” he recalled.