What you need to know:
- It’s Mike Friday, who nicknamed the speedy Odhiambo “The Kid” because he was the youngest member of the team when the English coach took charge of Shujaa in 2012
- Amonde, who recently guided KCB to the SportsPesa National Sevens Circuit victory, is now part of the new Kenya Sevens technical bench as the strength and conditioning coach
- Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Sasha Mutai while wishing the retired players luck in their new undertakings, advised them to get involved in rugby management
They are arguably Kenya's golden generation of sevens players that mesmerised the world of the shortened version of the game with their speed, athleticism and flare.
That generation rewrote the country's rugby history, reaching the Rugby World Cup Sevens semi-finals twice in 2009 and 2013, winning the 2016 Singapore Sevens, a historic feat, and qualifying for the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The last of the surviving members of that dissipating era, Billy “The Kid” Odhiambo, called it quits on his 30th birthday on Tuesday, having played 68 tournaments in a span of 11 years with 111 tries to his name.
Odhiambo missed the historic 2016 Singapore Sevens owing to an injury, but played an integral part for Kenya at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well as the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens among other tournaments.
He also competed in the 2013 Glasgow, Scotland, 2018 Gold Coast Australia and 2022 Birmingham, England Commonwealth Games.
It’s Mike Friday, who nicknamed the speedy Odhiambo “The Kid” because he was the youngest member of the team when the English coach took charge of Shujaa in 2012.
"God has been so good to me ever since I donned that shirt for the first time in 2012 at Port Elizabeth up until the last time in London this year," said Odhiambo.
Odhiambo, a Maseno School and Strathmore University alumnus, now joins other members of 2016 series leg winning cohort who have hanged their boots in the recent past.
They include Alvin “Buffa” Otieno and Nelson Oyoo, who played for Kenya Sevens in the last leg of the 2022/2023 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Celebrated former Kenya Sevens and Kenya Simbas utility Humphrey Kayange, called an end to his chequered rugby career spanning 12 years in June 2018 at 35.
Kayange captained Kenya Sevens to the historic 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens semi-final appearance.
The team had Allan Onyango, Victor Oduor, Ben Nyambu, Wilson Opondo, Lavin Asego, Biko Adema, Innocent Simiyu -- who went on to coach Kenya Sevens, Collins Injera, Sidney Ashioya, Gibson Weru and Horace Otieno.
Kayange, an old boy of Kakamega High School, played featured for Kenya Sevens and Kenya Simbas from 2005 as well as Mwamba, joining the team from Ulinzi after the KDF side was disbanded.
Kayange, a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) Ambassador, was appointed to Wada executive committee in June last year for a period of three years, a year after being elected as Athletes Representative at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K).
This year, Kayange, who is a biochemist by profession, working at Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), was elected as Mwamba Rugby Club Secretary General as well as committee member at Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).
In July last year, the 2016 Singapore Sevens winning captain, Andrew Amonde, who guided the team to their second Rugby World Cup Sevens semi-finals in 2013 Moscow, hung his boots at 34.
Amonde, who gained his Kenya Sevens cap in 2006, captained the side from 2012 until his retirement. He notched up 300 world series matches.
The 2013 Rugby World Cup semi-final aside, the 2016 Singapore victory where they stunned Fiji 30-7 in the final, stands out in Amonde’s sevens career.
Other members of all-conquering Singaporean tourists were William “Lomu” Ambaka, Oscar Ayodi, Augustine Lugonzo, Robert Aringo, Frank Wanyama and Samuel Motari.
Amonde, who recently guided KCB to the SportsPesa National Sevens Circuit victory, is now part of the new Kenya Sevens technical bench as the strength and conditioning coach. Kelvin “Bling” Wambua is the head coach deputised by Strathmore University Leos coach Louis Kisia.
Injera and Ambaka joined the retirement list this year.
Injera, 36, is the second highest try scorer in the World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2016 Singapore Sevens Player of the Final.
He is Kenya's all-time World Rugby Sevens Series top try scorer and second highest try scorer at the World Sevens Series with 279 strikes.
Injera first featured for Kenya Sevens in the 2005/2006 World Rugby Seven Series leg of Hong Kong.
He was the highest try scorer in the 2008/2009 World Rugby Sevens Series with 42 tries, a feat that saw him nominated for the Player of the Year award that season. Ollie Philips from England won the award.
President Mwai Kibaki would later bestow Injera alongside his brother Kayange with the Order of the Golden Warrior (OGW) in 2010.
Injera went on to become in Series’ highest try scorer at the 2015/2016 London leg, surpassing the previous record of 230 set by Argentina’s Santiago Gomez Cora.
He had much reason to thank Kayange, who set him up for his 231st try in the dying seconds of Kenya’s 29-12 defeat by France.
Injera, who is now with his former club Mwamba Rugby as defence and attack coach, has joined the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) as an administrative officer.
Ambaka played for Kenya Sevens and Kenya Simbas for 11 years after making his debut in thee 2011/2012 series.
He earned a place in the 2012-2013 World Series Dream Team and nomination for the 2013 World Rugby Sevens Series player of the Year award. The award was won by Tim Mikkelson from New Zealand.
Kayange noted that the retirement of Odhiambo marked the end of that golden era spanning two decades.
Kayange said that he has had an interesting shift from active rugby to sports administration.
“I am now formulating sports policies. Though challenging, it’s easy since I have had that passion, knowing what sportsmen and women want,” said Kayange
“Transition isn’t easy especially when you don’t know what to do next and that is why I will always encourage players to pursue the game and education with similar zeal. You must have something to fall back to after your playing career that is short.”
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Sasha Mutai while wishing the retired players luck in their new undertakings, advised them to get involved in rugby management.
“We are starting age group teams in under-15 and Under-18 in and outside schools,” said Mutai. All these teams need qualified personnel to manager them.