Nicholas Kipkirui, Kericho Kid Who Lit Up K’Ogalo


It is not everyday that you get to hear of a gifted footballer coming from Kericho – the land of tea, athletes of no mean repute, and more tea.

But then, there was this one kid – Nicholas Kipkirui – the Greenhorn who showed Kenyans that he could use his feet to kick the ball pretty well while playing for Zoo Kericho back in 2017.

Kipkirui, armed with pace and conscious awareness for the goal, scored 10 goals in 2017 to save Zoo from the abyss of relegation – and was subsequently won the young player of the year award.

Gor Mahia took notice of this little Greenhorn – they always do – and offered him a good deal.

The allure of playing for the mighty Gor Mahia, and the money, saw little Kipkirui join K’Ogalo in 2017 – soon after his successful stint at Zoo.

‘Kip’ went on to win three Premier League titles in a row (2018, 2018/19 and 2020) and Super Cup – with Gor Mahia – a good return for this kind of investment.

The boy scored at will – well – most of the time – with some of his casualties being K’Ogalo archrivals AFC Leopards in May 2019. He also scored some quite important goals for Gor at home and in the continental competitions.

He scored a goal when Gor beat Zamalek of Egypt 4-2 in the Group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup in February 2019. He would also score the winner against APR of Rwanda in the Champions League at Nyayo Stadium.

Kip, however, left Gor due to either unpaid or delayed salaries – and joined Nairobi City Stars after his two and a half years stint at Gor.

To leave, he had to invoke article 14 of the Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players that allows a player to terminate a contract with just cause for outstanding salaries.

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