Tag Archives: Kenya

50th Anniversary: You’ll Never Walk Alone meets Jamhuri Day

12 Dec
SHANKLY GATES

SHANKLY GATES

Carlo Ancelotti was also in the Atarturk stadium that night in May 2005, in his role as the AC Milan coach. What impact did the defiance of Liverpool fans have on him? In August 2012 he was asked which club has the best fans. “In my opinion Liverpool fans, when they sing a song they… I don’t know in English, but your skin is…””(he fluttered his fingers up and down his arm to explain).

Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics and Richard Rodgers composed the music for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in 1945, in their Broadway musical, ‘Carousel’. In terms of its emotional impact and iconic status, one BBC programme ranked the song alongside the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ and the hymn ‘Abide With Me.’ Legendary composer Irving Berlin said that the song had the same effect on him as the Psalm 23.

The version we know rather better, by Gerry and the Pacemakers, first appeared in the charts on 12 October 1963, @ No. 22.  Thereafter it rose steadily upwards:

  • 19 Oct @ 7
  • 26 Oct @ 2
  • 2, 9, 16 and 23 Nov @ 1

While debatable, the week of 19 October onward – the day we beat WBA 1-0 at Anfield – might just be the first time the song was played as part of pre-match entertainment at Anfield. However it’s probably more likely to have been the home game against Leicester City on 02 November 1963 (a 1-0 defeat!), given that it reached No.1 that day. Or it could have been Fulham on 16 November (a 2-0 win) or Burnley on 30 November (another 2-0 win) arrived at Anfield. What’s certain is that we won the league in YNWA’s first season, ahead of the Man Utd of Best, Law and Charlton, with Everton third.

However, this story from Redandwhitekop alleges that fans didn’t start singing the song until 27 April 1963, when a certain Gerry Flaherty sang ‘When you walk through a storm’ during a thunderstorm during an FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough (another 1-0 defeat by Leicester), which would mean that our famous anthem was born at the same ground at the same stage of the same competition as our saddest day occurred.

Kenya at 50

Kenyan Liverpool fans should easily connect with the song as their country also turns 50 this year. Exactly two months after You’ll Never Walk Alone was released, the country became a Commonwealth realm on 12 December of the same year, with Her Majesty the Queen [Elizabeth] as Head of State. On 12 December 1964 Kenya became an independent republic.

You’ll Never Walk Alone!

Credit: The Tomkins Times, You’ll Never Walk Alone’s 50th Anniversary.’ Original story appeared on 29 August 2012 | http://tomkinstimes.com/2013/10/youll-never-walk-alones-50th-anniversary/ | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya#Independence

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LSCK brings cheer to Wagocho’s, Sagana

1 Oct

Liverpool Supporters Club Kenya (LSCK) recently visited Sagana, a town situated some 100 kilometres from Kenya’s capital Nairobi, along the Nairobi-Nyeri Highway. The town’s name comes from Kenya’s longest river, the Tana, which is also called Thagana in the local dialect.

The group’s mission was to visit Mercy, a single mother struggling to bring up nine children on meagre resources. Despite four of her own, the energetic mother has embraced the challenge of single-handedly bringing up her late sister’s five children.

The group has for years now supported Mercy’s quest to educate her children by paying fees for two of them. The money so collected has ensured a relatively smooth transition from primary to secondary education.

WARM WELCOME: Guests are received in the time-honored African tradition.

WARM WELCOME: Guests are received in the time-honored African tradition.

MOTHER'S TOUCH: Our hostess ensures her guests are well fed.

MOTHER’S TOUCH: Our hostess ensures her guests are well fed.

Having arrived just after 3 p.m. to a warm reception, the group settled down to share a meal with the hosts. The event’s master of ceremony Josiah Karanja introduced his entourage and presented the group’s donation towards the homestead’s school fees kitty.

DONATION: Master of Ceremony Josiah Karanja presents our hostess Mercy with money towards her childrens school fees kitty.

DONATION: Master of Ceremony Josiah Karanja presents Mercy with money towards her children’s school fees kitty.

LSCK Treasurer Sophia Musembi gives a vote of thanks on behalf of the visiting entourage

LSCK Treasurer Sophia Musembi gives a vote of thanks on behalf of the visiting entourage

 

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FAMILY: It is not blood that links but oneness of mind and love.

The town of Sagana is part of Kirinyaga, fifth smallest of Kenya’s 47 counties. In terms of geographic size, Kirinyaga ranks ahead of Nyamira (912.5 km²), Nairobi (694.9 km²), Vihiga (531.3 km²) and Mombasa (212.5 km²) respectively. As of the 2009 national census, Kirinyaga County had a population of 528,054 and an area measuring 1,205.4 km².

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LSCK Joins Forces to Assist the Kenya Girl Child

9 Sep

KCB LEADERSHIP CENTRE

The scenic view of Ngong Hills provides a fantastic backdrop to Kenya Commercial Bank’s Leadership Centre, the perfect venue for a historic congregation of four major football fan bases in Nairobi.

Sunday, 08 September 2013 saw fans gather, drawn from Manchester United Kenya, Arsenal Kenya, Chelsea FC Kenya and Liverpool Supporters Club Kenya (LSCK), a first. The aim of this fun day was to raise funds to purchase sanitary pads for girls in Marigat, a settlement area in Kenya’s colonial Rift Valley Province.

In the games that followed, LSCK chalked up an impressive win the football category, seeing off Arsenal Kenya 2-0 before prevailing over a good Chelsea side on penalties, following a hard-fought 1-1 draw. The Red Belles also won the ladies tug of war competition.

RIVALRY: United in purpose.

RIVALRY: United in purpose

Buy a Pad, Save a Girl’s Future

The fan bases came together with an initiative titled ‘Buy a Pad, Save a Girl’s Future,’ organized in form of a lighthearted charity tournament, to both raise awareness and to collect donations towards this cause.

The Kenyan media house, Royal Media Ltd, first broke the sad news of how girls in Marigat lack access to this vital commodity, and resort to creative use of items such as chicken feathers and plant leaves in a bid to manage their menstruation cycles.

This particular period of a young woman’s life is in turn a form of embarrassment, brought about by misinformation, and often leads to interference in the girl child’s learning.

The basic rules were that each participating team (fan base) register with Kshs 1,000, the entire amount going towards purchase of the sanitary items. Each team was also asked to rally their fans to bring at least 50 packs minimum or two (2) packs per person.

In terms of activities, the day would include random but fun events like battle of wits, a penalty challenge, food eating competition, sack race, ball juggling, tug of war and a knockout football competition among others.

The page provided to highlight this initiative can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buy-a-Pad-Save-a-Girls-future/219460001542493?fref=ts

KCB Leadership School

The theatre of action, KCB Leadership Centre, as measured from Nairobi City Centre, is 18 km using Ngong Road (≃ 28 minutes drive), 21.6 km using Lang’ata Road (≃ 30 minutes drive) and 23.6 km using a combination of James Gichuru and Ngong roads (≃ 34 minutes drive). Figures provided by Google Maps.

Ngong Hills

The Ngong Hills are peaks in a ridge along the Great Rift Valley, located southwest near Nairobi, in southern Kenya.

The Hills’ eastern slopes overlook the Nairobi National Park Game Reserve; to the North, the city of Nairobi. The western slopes open out over the Great Rift Valley dropping over 1,000 meters (4,000 feet) below. The peak of the Ngong Hills is measured at 2,460 meters (8,070 feet) above sea level.

The word “Ngong” is an Anglicization of a Maasai phrase “enkong’u emuny” meaning rhinoceros spring, and this name derives from a spring located near Ngong Town.

During the years of British colonial rule, the area around the Ngong Hills was a major settler farming region, and many traditional colonial houses are still seen in the area.

In the 1985 Meryl Streep film Out of Africa, the four peaks of the Ngong Hills appear in the background of several scenes near [her character] Karen Blixen’s house.

Conclusion

It was a day to remember, all the more memorable seeing rival fans set aside their differences and donate their time to tackling a national challenge.

It was even more gratifying to see young people touched by the plight of fellow Kenyans far removed from their everyday existence. This is the desired future for a nascent nation and long may it continue.

You’ll Never Walk Alone.

VICTORS: Jubilation for the victorious LSCK Football team

VICTORS: Jubilation for the all-conquering LSCK Football team

Additional Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngong_Hills | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marigat | Photos used with gratitude

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Centurion: Bill Shankly Never Forgotten

31 Aug

ABOVE all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, and who built up a family of people who could hold their heads up high and say ‘We are Liverpool’.

William “Bill” Shankly, OBE (born 2 September 1913) was a Scottish footballer and manager who is best remembered for his 15-year management of Liverpool from 1959 to 1974.

Despite being most famous for his 15-year managerial career at Liverpool, Shankly had also managed Carlisle United (1949-1951), Grimbsy Town (1951-1954), Workington (1954-1955), Huddersfield Town (1956-1959).

Shankly was always noted for his dedication to football and, in his playing days, would do his own training during the summer months. The Liverpool website records that, during the summer of 1933 when he returned to Glenbuck after completing his first season as a professional, he decided to develop his throw-in skills. He was an early exponent of the long throw-in and, according to the site, “practiced by throwing the ball over a row of houses (while) the small boys of the village helped by fetching them back for him”. | Shankly.com on Bill’s stint as a player at Carlisle United

SHANKLY @ 100

Shankly and the Fans

In April 1973, when Shankly and the team were showing off the League Championship trophy to the fans on the Kop, he saw a policeman fling aside a Liverpool scarf which had been thrown in his direction. Shankly retrieved the scarf and wore it. He said to the policeman: “Don’t you do that. That’s precious”. He saw the offer of the scarf as a mark of respect, which deserved his respect in return.

Shankly emphasized the importance of communication with the supporters. At Carlisle he used to speak to them over the public address system before matches. Rather than just putting a few lines in the match programme, he preferred to speak and explain his team changes and his views about the previous match.

At Workington, he would answer supporters’ letters in person, using an old typewriter. But he said he preferred to phone business people as he would put as little as possible in writing when dealing with them. He would readily obtain match tickets for fans he considered to be deserving cases and wrote in his autobiography that he “would give people anything within reason”.

Shankly formed a special bond with the Liverpool supporters and, at the end of the 1961–62 season when Liverpool won the Second Division championship, he told the Liverpool Echo: “In all sincerity, I can say that they are the greatest crowd of supporters in the game”.

Journalist Brian Reade on Shankly

Perhaps Reade provides the best summary of this Liverpool icon’s greatness:

“…Not because he won more than any other manager. He didn’t. His haul of three league titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup puts him behind Sir Matt Busby, Bob Paisley and Sir Alex Ferguson.

 

Although he built two magnificent sides from scratch and only “a travesty of justice” (a referee later exposed as bent) stopped him from being the first British manager to reach a European Cup Final.

 

Not because he arrived at an ­unambitious Second Division club and built a modern dynasty that would dominate European football for almost a decade.

 

Not because of his ­extraordinary wit and charisma which rubbed off on his players, his fans, his adopted city and all who met him.

 

But because of what was inside him. The love, dedication and honesty he gave to the game, and its people, all his life, while asking for so little in return.

 

The passion and ­optimism he gave to tens of thousands of ordinary folk that lit up their ordinary lives. And never left them. Shankly’s politics were of the old school of Christian socialism, honed in the Ayrshire pit community he grew up in.

 

It defined how he treated everyone: as his equal and with respect. How he built his football teams by making the most important people at every club, the fans, central to his vision…”

NEVER FORGOTTEN: Mosaic at Anfield, planned as a tribute to Bill Shankly on 01 September 2013 during the 2013/2014 season's third game against visiting rivals Manchester United.

NEVER FORGOTTEN: Mosaic at Anfield, planned as a tribute to Bill Shankly on 01 September 2013 during the 2013/2014 season’s third game against visiting rivals Manchester United. The legendary Scot would have been 100 on Monday (02 September 2013).

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Bill Shankly passed away on 29 September 1981 aged 68.

 

References: http://www.shankly.com/article/2396  | http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/brian-reade-bill-shankly-not-2239293  | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Shankly  | http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/bill-shankly-legend-legacy-liverpool-3435214

Images used with appreciation

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Mombasa Reds Enjoy the EPL Season Opener 2013/2014

17 Aug

Joy in Kenya’s second biggest urban center, the historic Mombasa, as Kenyan Kopites celebrate their beloved team’s 1-0 victory over Stoke City FC at Anfield on 17 August 2013.

The sole goal was scored in the 37th minute by Daniel Sturridge. The Reds also had debuting keeper Simon Mignolet to thank for his double saves from Jonathan Walters’ penalty and Kenywne Jones’ followup strike, in the game’s dying minutes.

Kenya school history books place the founding of Mombasa as 900 A.D. It is mentioned by Arab geographer Al Idrisi in 1151, testament to the town’s significance. The 2009 census estimates the population as 939,370.

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Photo credits: Ken Kaguathi Mwangi

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MEMORIES: Crown Paints unites Reds and Kenya Football

12 Aug

The late 1980s represent a halcyon era for Kenyan football. Local giants Gor Mahia, nicknamed K’Ogalo, became the first East and Central African side to lift a continental title, dispatching Tunisian titans Esperance in 1987s two-legged Nelson Mandela Cup final.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) also shortlisted K’Ogalo striker, the peerless Peter Dawo for the 1987 African Player of the Year. The young striker famed for his heading ability, topped Gor’s continental campaign with 10 goals and would finish seventh in the voting for the African Player of the Year (1987). Not bad for the 23-year old’s Gor debut year.

What might be lost to the younger generations of Kenyan football fans is the convergence of sponsorship between Liverpool FC, then a mega team that challenged on all winnable fronts, and Gor Mahia’s chief rivals, AFC Leopards. Both teams would share a common sponsor, Crown Paints, and be part of some historical firsts.

The Reds were the first English team to feature a commercial sponsor on their shirts, Hitachi, in 1979. In Kenya, Ingwe, as the Leopards are popularly called, would also break grounds by featuring Kenyan football’s first shirt and team sponsorship, Crown Paints in 1987.

Chelsea v Liverpool

Liverpool legend Ian Rush in a Crown Paints sponsored shirt

Lancashire-based paint manufacturer Crown Paints, sponsors of Liverpool FC from 1982 to 1988 would end up sponsoring AFC Leopards thanks to astute business from the team’s commercial team led by team coach Graham Williams.

Graham Williams’ achievements include enabling Leopards reach the semi finals of the 1985 African Cup Winners Cup. Among the team’s scalps en route this milestone were Ghana’s Asante Kotoko SC and Mufulira Wanderers FC from Zambia. The Leopards would shrug off injuries to their key striker, J.J. Masiga, to lift the 1986 domestic league title, with an unbeaten record, having scored an impressive 96 goals.

Williams helped establish a youth development culture, one his club would reap richly in the years that followed retirement of Liverpool fan Mahmoud Abbas, and his compatriots like Masiga, Wilberforce Mulamba and Josphat Murila.

Special mention to J.J. Masiga, Kenya’s answer to Brazil’s physician, footballer, political activist and philosopher Socrates. Having excelled in both football and rugby, this legend would retire to his dental practice. Like Socrates, Masiga too trained as a medical doctor, specializing in dentistry. Talk of having one’s cake and eating it!

JJ MASIGAAFC LEOPARDS CROWN PAINT SHIRT

 Legendary AFC Leopards and Kenya Striker J.J. Masiga wearing a shirt featuring sponsorship by Crown Paints. The team poses for a photo wearing similar shirts.

The All Footballers’ Confederation Leopards Football Club, officially abbreviated as A.F.C. Leopards and commonly known as simply A.F.C., Leopards or Ingwe (Luhya for “Leopards”), is a professional football club based in Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 1964, the Leopards have won the Kenya Premier League a record 13 times, the Kenya Cup eight times and five CECAFA Club championships (a regional club competition).

 

REFERENCES: http://www.safaricom.co.ke/sakataball/uploads/pics/masiga.jpg | http://blog.crownpaints.co.ke/2012/07/19/crown-paints-kenya-ltd/ | http://www.kenyanstar.co.ke/retracing-our-roots/page-7 | http://www.ingwefans.com/the-team.html

IMAGES USED WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.

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Liverpool Supporters Club Kenya (LSCK) Origins: From K1 to 1,200+

7 Aug

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All ideas begin with a problem, a need or just plain guts. The founding of Liverpool Supporters Club Kenya (LSCK) is no different.

Karanja Winbern was a troubled man, one whose mind was supposed to be on his office job but instead kept getting bugged by thoughts of his beloved club, Liverpool. Surfing the internet to catch up on club news could not address the What If of meeting up with fellow Kopites here at home.

It all began with a couple of friends on his Facebook wall, the likes of Sophia Musembi, Wallace Karani, and John Irungu. These and many more. After all, even Jesus of Nazareth had to begin with just two cousins.

Taking a risk, Winbern chatted up pals he had never seen and they agreed on a suitable venue within the city, at K1 ‘Soccer City.’ Here goes nothing,  the convenor must have thought. If it doesn’t work out at least the effort would have been worth it. To his utter shock, the said fans did show up.

The game itself, our epic rivalry with Manchester United, didn’t respect destiny’s script, ending in a 2-3 loss for the Reds. However, the sheer joy of meeting up with fellow fans drowned out anything else. A post-match meeting was agreed upon to which the scattered group availed their time.

‘I still have the notebook where we recorded our first minutes!’ a proud Karanja remembers, almost jumping off his seat in excitement.

The original group was full of characters, from James Konde owner of kudadadeki, and so many words that only he can conceive; to John Irungu supplier of quality muratina; Mr. Graphics Jeff Oigo; ever loud Sayyed Muharram; the man and his beloved Tusker Moses Kago; ever smiling Grace Kabura; Wallace Karani, Hussein Mohamed, Boniface S. Mukabwa, John Kinuthia, Josiah Karanja the Kopite, D’Lubega Munobwa, Peter Njoroge, Sophia Musembi a.k.a. Mlami, Sidi Elizabeth the Coastal Queen with an accent ya ‘watu wa Bara;’ Carol Kings whom Winbern picked up after she failed to find her way to the venue, and the mysterious Allan who disappeared immediately after the game.

The meeting over and members having agreed to change the venue to Timers Restaurant, Kenyatta Avenue, the group nominated the following as the first ever officials:

Chairman – Jeff Oigo

Secretary – Sidi Elizabeth

Coordinator – Karanja Winbern

PIONEERS

PIONEERS: The original 15 members at K1 ‘Soccer City’ from whom the group has grown. The meeting’s convenor, Karanja Winbern can be seen standing on the extreme left. Photo dated 19 September 2010.

The phenomenal growth of the group, boasting in excess of 1,200 members to date, owes everything to this lot of 15 that answered Winbern’s call. The group remains open to any Kenyan Liverpool supporter but also draws a cosmopolitan membership from the region and abroad.

You’ll Never Walk Alone!

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