NAIROBI, Kenya, August 25 – Bobby Williamson bade an emotional farewell to champions Gor Mahia with a fitting ending after K’Ogalo beat fierce rivals Sony Sugar 1-0 to return to the top of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) summit at their City Stadium fortress.
The 53-year-old Scotsman is expect to report on duty Monday as the new Harambee Stars head coach and in a moving gesture, his charges hoisted him to a lap of honour at the end of the match to thunderous reception from the fans.
He leaves the club having not tasted defeat at City this season in the KPL having led them to the crown for the first time in 18 years last season after coming on board mid way through the campaign.
Ugandan Geoffrey Kizito’s 57th minute winner added the spice to the occasion as K’Ogalo completed the double over the side dubbed ‘Gor B’, managed by their former captain and head coach, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno.
“Gor has wonderful players and I hope they go ahead to win the league because it has a good bunch of players. I thank the chairman for having faith in me and giving me this opportunity to manage the club.
“I also express my sincere gratitude to players who made extra effort to go ahead and win the game today,” Williamson stated after the match.
He revealed his desire to manage the champions until the end of the season alongside the national squad was untenable with the Scot expected to get down to work immediately in his new role by announcing his first Stars side for their friendly against Egypt on Monday.
“I don’t think I could stay any longer at Gor because I don’t want to look impartial when selecting players for the national team, I would like to concentrate on national team and hopefully develop some talent and introduce academies but we have a lot of work to do,” he declared.
“I will miss the fans that were always fantastic and crazy and I’m happy they behaved today which is a good thing because the club needs a sponsor.
“It’s been tremendous though I experienced some highs and lows but I can’t complain because that’s the experience in football,” Williamson stated in homage to the fans who gave him the rousing ‘green carpet’ send-off.
Despite not winning any derby against arch rivals AFC Leopards in four meetings during his tenure, Williamson picked out the last encounter that Gor had to come behind to salvage a 2-2 stalemate as his best off all.
“My best match in Gor was two weeks ago against Leopards when we were 2-0 down and thought the game was over but it wasn’t because we should have won that match, Sserunkuma should have been given a penalty but the referee denied us because he wanted the match to end 2-2 to avoid trouble.
“I feel disappointed I leave the club having not won any derby in four attempts but I’m happy I leave the club in good position to defend the title and everybody seems to love the way we play,” Williamson who played for English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in 1986-88 concluded.
However, not all Green Army supporters were saddened by the departure of Williamson.
“Gor is a big club Bobby will go but the team will remain the most important thing is that we have won today,” Cedrick Oyugi told Capital Sport.
“Gor is a big team people will come and go but K’Ogalo will remain. We wish Bobby well and I know he still loves Gor and in case of anything he will be giving us advice, so we honour him so much,” Gor diehard fan Jaro Soldier told.
The win against Sony propelled Gor at the helm of KPL on 41 points, one ahead of Tusker with two matches on hand.
Elsewhere, John Ndirangu scored the winning goal as basement side Top Fry Nakuru stunned hosts Thika United 1-0.