Kevin Oliech, a former Mathare United and Thika United player is dead.
Kevin is a brother to Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech. Family spokesperson Nixon Onywanda Oliech confirmed the sad news in an interview with Citizen Digital Sunday evening.
Oliech had battled cancer for the last four years before succumbing to the disease. Nixon said: “For four years he’s been in and out of hospital. Last year he came back to Kenya then returned to Germany but we’ve unfortunately lost him.” Apart from Mathare and Thika, Oliech also turned out for other Kenyan Premier League clubs including Nairobi City Stars, Tusker, Ushuru and defunct Securicor.
His death comes barely two years after that of his mother Mary Oliech who passed on in July 2018.
Oliech, a younger brother to former Harambee Stars players Dennis Oliech and Andrew Oyombe, succumbed to cancer on Sunday in Germany on his way to the United States where he was headed for treatment.
Bryett worked with Oliech at Nairobi City Stars and Thika United and has described him as ‘one of the hardest working, professional, kindest, loyal and talented players’ he oversaw.
“The world should know how good this boy [Kevin Oliech] was, and taken from us too soon,” Bryett wrote on his Facebook page.
“As I finish tucking in my son to bed and kiss him good night, I sit down barely seeing the letters on my keyboard due to the tears in my eyes and whiskey beside me, I come to the realisation that I have lost one of my football sons, Kevin.
“When I took charge of Nairobi City Stars FC, I was warned that I would have trouble with two players, one of which was Kevin.
“Let me tell you that he was one of the hardest working, professional, kindest, loyal and talented players I have ever had.
“When I left Nairobi City Stars to take over at Thika United, Kevin was part of my agreement. I said to the chairman; ‘If you want me to sign then Kevin is one of the players that come with me,’ of which he smiled and jumped at the chance for us to continue together.
“I have strong views on how football should be played and Kevin always was 100% on board and we achieved many great things together.
“Even when I left Thika United, we stayed in constant contact and I kept checking on his progress hoping that he would say, ‘Coach, I’m better now, I’m stronger, I can play for you again’”.
“I will always be indebted to your loyalty and talent, I miss and love this dear boy, and can only take peace knowing that you rest now with your mother. Keep the pitches in heaven clean and one day we will meet there to play this beautiful game once more.”
The former Tusker and Ushuru forward died just two years after he lost his mother to the same disease.
Oliech also played for German lower side KFC Uerdingen 05 and second-tier outfit Alemannia Aachen.
Mathare United, a club Oliech played for and won the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title with in 2008, and Gor Mahia defender Wellington Ochieng, also paid tribute to the departed striker.