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FROM A LETHAL STRIKER TO A TAXI DRIVER.

He is well remembered for scoring crucial goals, especially in 1987 beating AFC Leopards immediately they were promoted to the Kenya premier league and guiding his team to win the famous Moi Golden Cup as a coach, but he is now a Taxi operator in Eldoret town.

Peter Kihamba, one of the living football legends in the country, remembers his life as a footballer in his teen years. The man, who started playing football at his tender age of eight years, became one of the Kenyan football greats within Ziwani Estate in Nairobi in 1960s.

Kihamba was an energetic teenager, starting as a goalkeeper but he had to change the position to a striker to ensure that he scores in the same position he used guard.

“I used to be a goalkeeper but I had to change to a striker because in the post, strikers could use their energy shooting me. So I had to change and do the opposite,” said Kihamba.

The taxi driver turned up for Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) FC when it was playing provincial league in 1985-1986.

“After high school, I joined Maragoli fc, which had players like Wilberforce Mulamba but my father (Luka Kihamba) was against it. So when we moved to Loreto, I had to join Loreto Kings fc but KCC poached me in early 1985,” said Kihamba.

His inclusion into the team was a blessing, captaining the side as he guided the team to qualify for top-flight football at Super League in 1987 but their joy lasted for one year, as in 1988 they were relegated again, which Kihamba attributed for lack of experience. But Kihamba’s memorable goal against AFC Leopard in 1987 will never depart his mind.

“We were inexperienced in the league since we had just been promoted and the Leopards had won the league previous year, heading for Mandela cup. It was our second match after promotion and they promised us that they will score as many goals as possible, ” he said.

 Leopards scored their first goal in the first minute of the match.

” but we had to hold on fighting until the 46th minute when I equalized silencing Nyayo stadium and on 73rd minute, I assisted one player to convert the second to give us the lead. At the stoppage whistle, we were 2-1 up. With that, I will never forget that day in my life,” said a small scale farmer in his rural village of Loreto.

KCC returned to Super League in 1989 until 2000 when sponsors withdrew and the team was disbanded. By that time, Kihamba had retired from the field due to a hip injury but he was elevated to an assistant coach for the same team working under John Levis Ndombi.

He took over the coaching of the team in 1996, guiding his team to win Moi Golden Cup in 1997 humiliated then cup holders AFC 4-2 at Nyayo stadium.

“By virtue of winning Moi Cup, we played in the Nelson Mandela Cup the following year but we were bundled out in the first round by Costa De Sol fc from Mozambique. They beat us 1-0 in Maputo, on return at Nyayo, we beat them with the same margin but they won against us in post-match penalties,” said Kihamba. 

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