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Fitting send off as Nyongesa is laid to rest

Pallbearers carrying the casket of the former Harambee Stars assistant coach Sammy Nyongesa. Photo/WANJIRU MACHARIA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – Fallen former Harambee Stars assistant coach, Sammy Nyongesa was on Friday accorded a fitting send off at his Ngata farm in Nakuru.

Leaders at the burial ceremony which was filled with jokes and smiles asked the Government to appreciate his contributions to football development in Kenya.

His students on the pitch who have since formed a strategic working team and set goals on ways to commemorate Nyongesa, asked the Government to revive the National Football Youth Centres to nature talents.

Nyongesa was the brainchild behind the youth centres which produced great footballers among the Ambrose Ayoyi, John Shotoo Lukoe, Joseph Oduor and John Mo Muiruri among others.

Instead of being teary and all emotional, Nyongesa’s widow and all his 12 children from three women, decided to treat the mourners with laughter as they shared their fun moments with him.

Pallbearers carrying the casket of the former Harambee Stars assistant coach Sammy Nyongesa. Photo/WANJIRU MACHARIA

The wife, Ruth Atieno Nyongesa humorously described her husband as a generous man who scored on the pitch and elsewhere.

“My husband was very generous and as you can see, I have a big family, they are all my children and I love them all,” she said to a round of laughter and applause from the mourners.

She went ahead to introduce mothers of some of her children and asked if there were others unknown to her in the congregation.

“If there are other offspring of Nyongesa in the congregation that have not been introduced to me, kindly come forward, you are mine too,” she added.

She narrated how she and her husband would laugh at the fact that his opponents at Gor Mahia would taunt him as ‘senior bachelor’ then he decided to marry their own which made them bite the humble pie and they changed the title to ‘in-law’.

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The children described their father as loving playmate and a firm disciplinarian.

Nyongesa died of prostate cancer on August 24 at War Memorial Hospital in Nakuru. He leaves behind a widow and 12 children. Most of the football players he mentored attended the ceremony.

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