Best players in Gor Mahia history – the top 5

Best players in Gor Mahia history – the top 5
Credit: @TeyaKevin Twitter

Gor Mahia is one of the top football clubs in Kenya. If you talk about club football in Kenya, names like Tusker, Sofapaka and AFC Leopards come up, but it in no way diminishes the greatness of Gor Mahia.

While Gor Mahia is not the most affluent club (that honour belongs to Wazito FC) or the oldest (Maragoli FC – 1935), it has a rich history bordering on folklore.

Gor Mahia, known as K'Ogalo, is based in Nairobi, Kenya. The name belongs to the son of Ogada and grandson of Ogallo, a prominent Luo hero born in the late 18th century.

Folklore suggests he used magic and miraculous powers he inherited from his grandfather to rule his people.

As a club, K'Ogalo has won the Kenyan Premier an unmatched 20 times and the FKF President's Cup a record 11 times. They are the first and only Kenyan team to win an African continental title – the African Cup Winners' Cup in 1987.

Let us via into the players that made them great now that we have established the greatness of this illustrious Kenyan club.

Top five players in Gor Mahia history

Abbas ‘Zamalek’ Magongo

The best player considered to don the green jersey of Kenya is not even a Kenyan. Tanzania-born Magongo is a legend of the game, and performed miracles with the Nairobi side. He was a fan favourite for the club fans, but rivals dread his abilities.

Magongo had the skills to entertain and was a delight to watch. Despite his slight frame, he was full of flicks and tricks, with boundless energy. He was the Zidane of Gor Mahia and played for the club between 1984 and 1991.

Zamalek led Gor Mahia to the title in his first season. He was vital to the club winning its only continental title in 1987 and scored in the semi-final against Tunisian side Esperance.

Austin Oduor

Austin Oduor is another household name in Gor Mahia history. He is a legend of the club that contributed immensely to its success. He started as a midfielder but later switched to defence.

After joining Gor Mahia in 1980, he struggled to break into the team but got his breakthrough after an injury to key winger Nahashon Oluoch.

During his spell with K'Ogalo, Oduor got the nickname Makaumu. Not to be forgotten is his goal against Bendel Insurance in the African Champions Cup. Gor Mahia was not expected to win but secured a famous 2-1 win against the Benin Arsenal in Nigeria.

Oduor played in defence till his retirement. He won three straight league titles with Gor Mahia and left the club in 1985.

John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla

Another player who has managed to wriggle into K’Ogalo folklore is John Ogolla. He was known as the ‘six-million-dollar man’.

Ogolla was a no-nonsense defender and a dead-ball specialist. He had a powerful shot and scored vital goals for K’Ogalo from dead ball situations.

The six-million-dollar man joined Gor in the late seventies and helped the team reach the 1979 African Cup final. Ogolla helped the team win the 1987 Mandela Cup (Confederations Cup). He also won the CECAFA Cup in 1980, 1981 and 1985, as well as five Kenyan league crowns in 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987.

Peter Dawo

Peter Dawo was a respected forward for Gor Mahia. He had two stints with the Nairobi club and was famous for his heading ability. Dawo had a massive following at the club. He was also part of the team that won the 1987 Mandela Cup.

Dawo scored the winning goal in the 2-1 victory against Bendel Insurance in the African Champions Cup.

Dawo joined Gor Mahia in 1987 from MTI. He won a treble – league and cup, before the continental title that year. Dawo also finished the Mandela Cup as the top scorer with ten goals, scoring nine off headers. He also scored a last-minute header that was the winner in the 3-2 victory that knocked out The Dragons of Benin.

Dawo was shortlisted for the 1987 African Player of the Year and finished seventh.

Peter Otieno ‘Bassanga’

The last man on the list is Peter Otieno ‘Bassanga. Bassanga was vital to their cup win in 1987 and was part of the squad that won three straight league titles from 1983-1985. He played both in midfield and defence.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.