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‘Baba’ makes surprise Gor visit in Liverpool

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga arrives at Gor Mahia’s team hotel accompanied by his daughter Rosemary Odinga (far right), Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier and Sports PS Kirimi Kaberia. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

LIVERPOOOL, United kingdom, Nov 6 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga known most by hi fans and followers as Baba yesterday paid Gor Mahia a surprise visit at their Hilton Hotel residence on Monday night, the eve of their big friendly match against Everton FC at their Goodison Park home ground.

Odinga, who is also the Gor Patron arrived in Liverpool, United Kingdom earlier on in the day and decided to surprise the team with a visit at their hotel and motivate them ahead of their SportPesa Trophy tie.

He was accompanied by his daughter Rosemary Odinga and son Raila Odinga Junior while Siaya Senator James Orengo is expected later Tuesday.

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr and his assistant Zedekiah Otieno share a joke with Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga when he visited the team hotel on November 5, 2018. Looking on are Kerr’s friends from the UK. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“I am here as the patron of the club. We did everything we could and left everything to come here and witness Gor making history as the first club from Kenya and Africa to play in English soil. The team is not here as a result of charity but winning the ticket, we are here to give you moral support and I want to thank those involved, like SportPesa,” Odinga said as he addressed the team at the hotel.

Just like the great orator he is, the former Prime Minister wowed the crowd with his football support journey that has seen him cheer on Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Roma, AC Milan and his current love Arsenal.

He also cheered up the players by urging them to take on the Everton players without fear or intimidation as they are men, with equal strength, just like them.

“It’s not a matter of life and death but the most important thing is to showcase yourselves. It’s not a battle between David and Goliath, it’s between Goliath and Goliath, we want you to have confidence in yourselves.”

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Gor Mahia keeper Shabaan Odhoji when he visited the team hotel on November 5, 2018. Looking on are Kerr’s friends from the UK. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“Sometimes people go there with fear as if you are meeting a lion. Just go there be confident and play your game, these are just normal human beings like you…. wanaume kama nyinyi. Go to the field without fear,” Odinga urged the Gor players.

He says Gor playing in English soil is a huge thing for not only Kenyan football but the continent and he hopes it will be the beginning for the betterment of football in the country to reach the standards set in the English Premier League.

He has urged the Gor players to take their chance and do their best on the pitch to showcase Kenyan football, saying it might be their big opportunity to improve their football careers.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with other dignitaries when he visited the team hotel on November 5, 2018. Looking on are Kerr’s friends from the UK. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“It is a huge chance; one of you may get picked up and you have an opportunity to showcase yourself. What I want is not a win at all costs, but what will please me is that you have shown your best and show that football exists in Kenya. That is what will please me; not how many goals you have scored, but the fact that you have represented Kenya well,” Odinga insisted.

Others present include Sports Principle Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia and SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri who handed the team a token of appreciation of Sh2.1mn.

“Go there, do your best and just know that we are behind you 100pc,” Karauri told the players.

-Timothy Olobulu is reporting from Liverpool, United Kingdom- 

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