Kevin Oliech dies of cancer in Germany

Former Mathare United forward Kevin Opiyo Oliech has passed on.

Opiyo, 33, was the young brother of former Kenyan international and Nantes striker Dennis Oliech and former Harambee star player Andrew Oyombe, who also played for the national team Harambee Stars and Gor Mahia.

His brother Nixon Onywanda confirmed the news, but was so distraught to speak.

Opiyo died in Germany on his way to the United States of America where he was to be treated for cancer.

Opiyo played for Kenyan Premier League sides Tusker, Ushuru, Thika United, and Nairobi City Stars.

Internationally, he played for German fifth tier side KFC Uerdingen 05 and second-tier Alemannia Aachen, among other teams before hanging his boots.

Opiyo’s death comes two years after the death of his mother, Mary Auma Oliech who passed on in July 2018.

Mama Oliech was diagnosed with cancer five years before her death.PHOTO:MAMA Oliech at her fish kiosk in Nairobi. Photo by WILLIS AWANDU/STANDARD

More to follow…

About Oliech’s family

1. Steve Okumu Oliech

He was the eldest child in the family. Steve played for Harambee Stars, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards as a striker. He moved to the United States of America after landing a footballing scholarship. He was a beneficiary of coach Bob Oyugi airlift. Unfortunately, he died in a grisly road accident in 2002 in Rhode Island. He was only 26 years old. He died just one year after the family’s patriarch died in 2000.

2. Nixon Onywanda

He has been the family spokesperson in most functions. He went on to become Denis Oliech’s manager.

3. Andrew ‘Apache’ Oyombe

FILE PHOTO: Andrew Oyombe at the Moi International Sports Centre

Oyombe was in the national team Harambee Stars that last featured in the Africa Cup of Nations finals held in Tunisia in 2004.

Locally, he also played for Gor Mahia and Tusker before turning professional in Sweden. He has since retired.

4. Kennedy Oliech

Kennedy was former Gor Mahia captain and striker. He has since retired from football. Ken vied for the chairmanship of Football Kenya Federation in 2016 but lost. Today, he runs the Ken Oliech Foundation, which seeks to tap into the vast football talent. He is currently in Germany where he is training as a coach.

5. Dennis Oliech

FILE PHOTO: Harambee Stars striker Dennis Oliech

Oliech started playing football for Dagoreti Santos in his earlier years, then moved to Mathare United. He had his national debut in 2002 during the Cecafa tournament. He used to come in as a substitute. He turned professional in 2003, playing for Al-Arabi in Qatar. In 2004, he was offered a chance to change his citizenship from Kenyan to Qatari. But he turned down the offer. At the age of 19 years, Oliech was named by a British newspaper as one of the world’s most wanted young players.


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