NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13- The football family in Kenya is mourning the death of former Gor Mahia midfielder Zablon Otieno who passed away on Friday morning.
Otieno, who was until his demise the assistant coach of Gor Mahia Youth team, succumbed to Pneumonia and high blood pressure Friday morning as he was being rushed to hospital.
“He has been suffering for a while from Pneumonia and high blood pressure and before his death he had been admitted at Jamaa Hospital. He was on medication and had taken some time off the youth team to recuperate,” Gor Mahia Youth FC patron Chris Omondi revealed to Capital Sport.
“This morning he was overwhelmed and unfortunately passed on as he was being rushed to hospital,” Omondi added.
Otieno who is also an uncle to former Gor and Harambee Stars creative midfielder Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi was known for his deft touches and lethal left foot during his playing days.
He began his career at Re-Union before re-joining Gor in 2008 from the then Mumias Sugar FC where he saw his career into its sunset days in 2010.
After hanging his boots, he was appointed the Gor physical trainer until early 2012 when the K’Ogalo management disbanded the entire technical bench. In that year as well, he briefly had a stint playing for Posta Rangers.
He later took up the mantle of coaching Gor’s junior side and was an integral part of its formation in 2013.
“The boys are devastated because he was like a father figure to them. It’s hard for us to accept he is no more and it is a huge loss to the entire Gor Mahia family. I am only hoping the young boys will be able to pick up and move on from his death,” Omondi said.
Gor Mahia acting Secretary General Ronald Ngala also conveyed his condolences to the family of the late Otieno.
“We are saddened and this is indeed a great loss for us. He had been a key figure for the youth team and losing him is such a big blow. May God rest his soul in eternal peace,” Ngala stated.
The football family took to social media to convey their condolences to the departed midfield maestro.
Former Harambee Stars goalkeeper Lawrence Webo who is now the keeper trainer at Posta Rangers posted;
“I am saddened by the demise of my former team-mate, brother, neighbor and midfield maestro at Mumias Sugar Zablon Otieno Aruthi. May the almighty rest his soul in eternal peace.”
“It’s a great loss to the grass-root football and the entire Nairobi football family. On behalf of FKF Nairobi county branch we send our sincere condolences to the family of Zablon Otieno “Pro”(Gor Mahia youth coach) R.I.P,” Football Kenya Federation Nairobi Branch Secretary Dickson Doyo wrote.
The fallen football star’s final moments in football included leading his estate team from Kaloleni A1000 Street to their second Koth Biro title as coach early in January.
He handled Gor Youth’s recruitment process alongside head coach Morris Onyango and only saw them into the first two games of the season, his last being against Kiambu Youth which they won 2-1.
He is survived by a widow and three children.
May God rest his soul in eternal peace.