Tributes pour in for Mathare Utd’s fan ‘Simple Simon’
Tributes yesterday continued to pour in for Mathare United’s avid fan Simon Kimani popularly referred to as ‘Simple Simon’ who passed away at a Nairobi Hospital.
Several current and former Mathare United players, including coaches, eulogised Kimani as a great supporter of both local football and cricket.
He was actually a strong part of the club over the last three decades as a supporter and volunteer.
A statement from Mathare United eulogised the staunch fan as member of the Slum Boys family and the club termed it as a huge loss.
“It is great sadness that Mathare United has learnt of the passing of legendary club supporter Simon Kimani that happened over the weekend at Mbagathi Hospital after a short illness. Commonly referred to as “Simple Simon”, Kimani was an ardent supporter of the club and attended matches as well as training sessions for the better part of the three decades.
“Mathare United would like to offer our condolences to his family and friends,” the statement read.
Club Chairman Bob Munro in his tribute stated: “I always disliked and discouraged the name ‘Simple Simon’ who had been a top performing student and Prefect at Jamhuri High School. But Simon had three main addictions. He was always addicted to helping his friends whenever possible and also happily addicted to Mathare United. But his third addiction and illness, alcoholism,kept undermining his adult life. A few years ago,our club financed his lengthy stay in a rehabilitation center and hired him afterwards. But,sadly,he gradually relapsed. Simon had a good and big heart and a loud and inspiring voice during our matches. I and his many friends in and outside our club sadly mourn and miss him.”
Former Kenyan International and Ex-Mathare United ace Innocent Mutiso remembered the fallen Simon as a true supporter who stuck by the team in go and bad times. “This is sad and shocking news for some of us because we remember him well as a staunch supporter of Mathare. I knew him well and he was my personal friend. He always came to cheer the team in all our home matches and even he took time to call me before match-day and encourage me to do well which was so touching. However he struggled with Alcoholism which had a bad effect on his overall health. His neighborhood had a bad influence on him which impacted his own growth. He will be missed and I wish to convey my condolences to his family,”said Mutiso who also had a brief stint with record Champions Gor Mahia FC.
Former Sofapaka FC and Mathare United forward Ronald Okoth in his twitter handle also mourned the departed Simple Simon as a true man of football who had passion in him. “Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Simple Simon.,Mathare United #1 fan. Our football has lost a dedicated and passionate lad whose love for our game was unmatched.RIP Simpo & thanks for the memories we share. May your spirit continue to live through our local game.”