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Kenyan football legend Kadenge dies at 84

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.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge passed on Sunday morning aged 84 after battling diabetes for a long time, his family confirms.

Kadenge’s family said he died at the Meridian Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday, after a long illness, having suffered a stroke in February.

His son Oscar told Capital FM News that they were making arrangements to move the body to the Lee Funeral Home.

Kadenge suffered stroke on February 14, which was attributed to the death of his daughter Evelyn in the United States which made him admitted in hospital for two months before being discharged April 8

L-R: SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, AFC Leopards legend Joe Kadenge and Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja arrive for the Mashemeji Derby

In January 2017, Kadenge finally got his wish of meeting and having a chat with President Uhuru Kenyatta, as the Head of State visited him at his South B home.

Kadenge, who said he has met and talked to all three previous Presidents expressed his desire to meet the sitting President before he bids the world goodbye and his wish on a cool Sunday evening came to pass.

The President did not come empty handed as the ailing Kadenge then was gifted with a comprehensive insurance cover that would see him get treatment in any health institution in the country as well as Sh2mn cash.

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he met football legend Joe Kadenge at his South B home on January 8, 2016. PHOTO/Courtesy

The former Harambee Stars striker famed by the ‘Kadenge na Mpira shuti goal’ phrase Kadenge, has been described as the finest footballer ever produced by Kenya.

Kadenge played for Maragoli United, and scored the fastest ever goal in the Kenyan Premier League, and has also played club football for Abaluhya United, winning the Kenyan Premier League in 1966.

Kadenge also represented the national team Harambee Stars for 14 years, despite retiring from the game in 1965, only to make a comeback with a bang and steered the national team Harambee Stars to victory in the inaugural East and Central Africa Challenge Cup the same year.

Harambee Stars legendary Joe Kadenge looking at the framed photos of Kenya’s four Presidents at his Nairobi South B estate. He was discharged from hospital on Monday.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He quit the national team for good in 1970 preferring to go into coaching where he was later appointed coach of the national team where he has also been serving as the manager.

Kadenge boasts a sporting family where his younger brother John Anzra, a former athlete is now coaching the Kenyan sprinters team and his sister Esther Kavaya is a former sprints queen.

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His sons Evans, Francis and Oscar have stood out to emulate their father, having played for AFC Leopards.

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