Ten ‘players who crossed the divide’
Monday, July 27th, 2020
1. Dan Shikanda Leopards to Gor
The current AFC Leopards chairman did what was possibly considered treason then when he ditched Ingwe to join Gor in 1989.
He had joined Leopards in 1986 while still a student at Mangu High School and helped the team win the league title the same year as well as two more seasons in 1988 and 1989.
Shikanda was also in the crack Gor squad that eliminated Hellenic of South Africa in the CAF Confederation Cup on the away goal rule and was on the mark once in the 2-0 win in the first leg in Nairobi.
2. Eric Masika Gor to Leopards
Nicknamed PPO (Provincial Police Officer), Masika’s move to Leopards was controversial before it went through.
He was pivotal in assisting Gor grab the runners-up spot in the 2010 Kenyan Premier League.
Due to his exploits with the Gor, Leopards came knocking on the door of the Green Army a year later with the latter demanding an ‘unreasonable’ Sh1 million signing fee even though the player had six months remaining on his contract.
However, Leopards successfully argued their case and paid Gor Sh450,000, making Masika the most expensive buy of the season.
3. Collins “ Gatusso” Okoth Gor to Leopards
The defensive midfielder was signed by Gor in 2012 and assisted the team to win the KPL Super Cup as well as the league title.
He left for Tusker before rejoining Gor in 2014 but struggled to make it to the starting team.
AFC Leopards signed him in 2018 with coach Robert Matano building a team to effectively compete in the CAF Confederation Cup campaign after winning the Shield Cup in 2017.
Okoth was released less than six months into his contract due to alleged disciplinary issues.
4. John ‘Zangi’ Okello Gor to Leopards
John ‘Zangi’ Okello became the second player to break the ‘cardinal rule’ of a Gor Mahia player joining sworn rivals Leopards in late ‘80s.
Okello, who spent his formative years in Kisumu, was suspended by Gor in 1987 after being implicated in the bribery scandal involving a top AFC Leopards official.
Arguably one of the best holding midfielders in the country, the late Okello also had stints with national team Harambee Stars which he joined at a young age of 19.
5. Victor Onyango Gor to Leopards
The former Harambee Stars custodian stood like a shining diamond between Gor’s posts in the early ‘90s.
A former outfield player, who excelled at the left-back, Onyango’s exploits won admiration from Leopards who were only too eager to sign him and represented the team for two seasons.
Gor spotted Onyango’s talent while the player was featuring at Otii Father and Pendo Moja Texado Tournaments at Ofafa Jericho neighbourhood in Nairobi.
6. Timonah Wanyonyi
Gor Mahia to Leopards
The player who had bursts of speed and an eye for goal was in Gor Mahia squad when the team ended a 17-year wait for the KPL by clinching the gong in 2013.
A year later, he was enticed by AFC Leopards in what would set stage for mistrust and controversy.
The player claimed that he was forced to leave Gor for Leopards by his father who is one of Ingwe’s legends.
7. Demonde Selenga Leopards to Gor
The Congolese ex-talisman holds the enviable feat of having scored against Leopards and Gor.
Selenga joined Leopards’ ranks at the end of 2009 after falling out of favour with Sofapaka.
He joined Gor in 2011 when the club was desperately looking for an out and out striker before he was re-hired by Sofapaka. He has also previously featured for Shabana.
8. Wycliff Kasaya Gor to Leopards
Kasaya is a goalkeeper who was loved and loathed in equal measure by both Gor and Leopards’ fans.
Though talented, his on-field antics always left the two sets of fans frustrated, mostly during derbies.
Kasaya left Gor at the close of the 2012 season and joined Sony Sugar before he signed for Leopards in 2013. He then joined Sofapaka before leaving the club unceremoniously.
9. Matthew “Ottomax” Owino Gor to Leopards
The acrobatic goalkeeper was Gor’s mainstay between the posts in 1995 after joining the team from Re-Union.
He was mostly unbeatable with long balls. A product of Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), Owino would later join Leopards to the chagrin of Gor Mahia fans in 1995.
His magical hands were evident when he helped Harambee Stars eliminate Algeria in a World Cup qualifier in 1998.
10. Jacob Keli Leopards to Gor Mahia
The 2013 KPL top scorer joined AFC Leopards from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in December of the same year.
Keli had many suitors but the deal by Leopards was irresistible and was lured into the den alongside four other players including Ugandan Musa Mudde, Joseph Shikokoti, James Situma and Wycliff Kasaya.
His star continued shinning after he left Leopards for Nkana FC of Zambia and Gor promptly snapped him up in in 2016.
Keli was contracted by Gor to replace Rwandese Meddie Kagere who crossed over to Tanzanian giants Simba.