Gor Mahia Football club was formed on February 17 1968 following the
amalgamation of Luo Union FC and Luo Stars football clubs. However the history of
the club goes back to the 1950s with the formation of Luo Union FC. The original
Luo Union FC was formed in the 1950s and was the brainchild of freedom fighter
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Luo Union FC finished second in the first ever Kenyan
national league held in 1963 and then won the league in 1964 with players like the
legendary keeper James Sianga, Stephen Yongo, Fred Siranga, and Daniel
Nicodemus “Arudhi”. In 1965 they finished second to Feisal of Mombasa on goal
In 1966 and 67, there was a major split in Luo Union Football Club. Some players
split and formed Luo Sports club. Others stayed with Luo Union. But when Luo Union
were were omitted from the 1966 league at the expense of Luo Sports club, some
players opted to join Kisumu Hotstars. These included William Ouma “Chege”
James Sianga, Joseph Okeyo, Josphat Okello “Smart” and John Otieno “Hatari”.
As a result of the split, Abaluhya Football club (now AFC leopards) dominated the league in those two years. At the end of
1967, Luo Union FC officials approached the Minister for economic planning, Tom Mboya to discuss unifying the two factions.
The officials included Mahallon Danga who had played for Luo Union FC in the early 60s, Solomon Oiro and Odiawo
Nyandega. Meetings were held in Tom Mboya’s house. Present at those meetings were the likes of Prof Bethwell Ogot, Joab
Omino, Zach Ramogo and Samuel Ayany. On February 17 1968, an agreement was reached amongst the Luo Union and Luo
Sports club factions to form a unified team. Several names were proposed for the new unified club including “Luanda Magere”,
Nile Stars. The name Gor Mahia proposed by Aggrey Olango who played for Luo Sports club was adopted. Zach Ramogo was
selected as interim chairman and later voted in as the club chairman at the club’s first ever annual general meeting. Other
pioneer officials were Mahallon Danga and Andrew Odemba. Gor Mahia Football Club had now been born.

Formation of Gor Mahia FC

Tom Mboya, the popular minister for Information played a

key role in the formation of Gor Mahia

A friendly match / fund raising match against Express of Uganda was arranged before the start of the 1968 league and newly
formed Gor Mahia were impressive in front of a massive crowd. The merger of the two powerful teams had created one strong
one that sent shivers into the spines of opponents not just in kenya but in the neighbouring countries as well. The team
boasted some of the best players in the nation. Players like the legendary striker William Ouma “Chege” who before Dennis
Oliech was considered by many as the greatest striker Kenya ever produced, keeper James Sianga and Fred Siranga. Good
tidings were to follow as the club won the national league at its first attempt. It was not surprising since the merger of the two
mega clubs created one strong unit. Gor Mahia thus qualified for the 1969 Africa Champions cup.

In December 1968, Minister Ronald Ngala dissolved the then Kenya Football Association, thus bringing football activities to a
standstill. Gor Mahia embarked on a country wide tour to prepare for the Africa cup and raise money. Participating in a
continental event for the very first time, Gor Mahia was pitted against Burri of Sudan. Gor Mahia won the 1st leg 4-2 in
Khartoum but surprisingly lost the return leg 0-1 in Nairobi. This started the peculiar tradition of the club where they tend to
play better away from home than they do at home in international matches. Still K’Ogalo had qualified for the second round on
4-3 aggregate. In the quarter final, K’Ogalo lost 2-4 on aggregate to Ismailia of Egypt.

Gor Mahia players at the airport when they returned from Sudan after playing Burri. In the picture is first chairman Zack

Ramogo and minister Ronald Ngala

In the 2nd round of the 1969 Champions cup, Gor Mahia faced Ismailia of
Egypt. They lost 4-2 on aggregate. The death of Minister Tom Mboya who was
one of the key founder members of the club clearly had a negative impact on
the players. Mboya was much beloved by all and his sudden assassination was
deeply mourned. Ismailia went on to win the Africa Champions cup that year.

Later in 1969, a group of disgruntled officials led by Odiawo Nyandega and Solomon Oiro attempted to change the name of the
club to Luo Union, claiming that a club named Gor Mahia would never prosper. They even went as far as staging an attempted

club to Luo Union, claiming that a club named Gor Mahia would never prosper. They even went as far as staging an attempted
coup against the then club officials led by Zach Ramogo. The coup was aborted when players, branch officials and fans
through their weight behind the incumbent officials.

Gor Mahia FC pictured at the stadium in Cairo

Backrow: M. Danga, P Odhiambo, Dr Oluoch, P Ndula, H Obiero, F Ooko, A Omondi, J Oduor, W Molo, J Okeyo, A Ogutta
Frontrow: D Olando, S Odori, J Wambundo, S Otin, W Ouma “Chege”J Sianga, J Otieno, F Siranga


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s