NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31- Harambee Stars legend Joe Kadenge will achieve his life-long dream of watching his favourite team Manchester United play when he travels to the United Kingdom on Friday for Man U’s match against Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Kadenge, 82, says it is a delight getting the opportunity to watch the team play, pointing out he would have loved to play for them but during his times, an African getting the chance to play abroad was difficult.
“I am very pleased to be heading to Manchester United. This is a team that I have watched and followed for all my life and getting the opportunity to go there is a dream come true. I am excited and I hope those who know me will be excited to see me there,” the ex-striker famed for his dribbling skills said.
The visit to Old Trafford has been organized by Black Arrow, a United States based football media brand which will also be documenting Kadenge’s football journey with his famous tag-line ‘Kadenge na Mpira’.
“Football has the power to unite and Joe (Kadenge) is one of the few unifying people and forces in this country. He is a treasure to all political parties, and tribes,” Black Arrow co-founder Felix Orwa said.
“By shining light on Kadenge as he travels to Old Trafford, we hope we can help solidify his place amongst the greats internationally, as well as possibly get some additional international attention to football in Kenya as an industry, and inspire our next generation.”
Kadenge has been a Manchester United fan since his playing days and was endeared to the club after the Munich Air disaster in 1958 when eight Manchester United players were part of 23 fatalities after the plane they were travelling in crashed on its third attempt to take off from the Munich-Riem Airport in West Germany.
As part of his journey to Old Trafford, Kadenge will visit the Air Disaster memorial Park on the day of his arrival and will be part of the 60th anniversary celebration on February 6.
“I felt very bad because I felt like they were my friends. It was sad and from that time, I loved Manchester United very much. I hope that when I go there, I will be able to meet some of the players who survived as well as those who played during those years,” an ecstatic Kadenge said.
He added; “I also want to meet Sir Alex Ferguson because he is my coaching idol. I loved how he did his work and when I was given the national team to coach, I tried to do it like him.”
The legend has also called on the government and private sector to accord more help and support to sporting legends, arguing that during their time, they played for the country’s pride and love of the game but never got much in return.
“Sometimes I wish I played football now. There is very good money and there are so many opportunities and I want to tell the young people to make use of that. For us, we just played for passion,” he says.
“People should come out and help us now that we are retired. We should not be left to struggle on our own,” added the legend.