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SPORTS

Dawo, the Gor Mahia legend requires knee replacement

FOOTBALL By Robin Toskin | June 8th 2017
[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Just as it is true that looking at the mouth of a King you wouldn't think he suckled, the sight of Peter Ochieng Dawo walking with a limp in excruciating pain belies the once energetic goal scorer who wrought fear in the hearts of opposing defenders and goalkeepers.

Yet at 53, Dawo is ravaged by Osteoarthritis that doctors now say will require a total replacement of his left knee to relieve the gentle legend of pain and restore his posture.

"The pain is now becoming unbearable," Dawo told Standard Sports, adding that painkillers were no longer giving him any relief.

A medical report seen by Standard Sports reads, "Dawo is suffering severe pain in his left knee that is affecting his activities of daily living. Further investigation revealed severe osteoarthritis. Total knee replacement surgery is recommended to rid him of the pain and restore function of the affected limb."

Although he still retains his imposing physique, the man who helped engrave Gor Mahia in one of Africa's silverware -  the Africa Cup Winners Cup (Mandela Cup) before being voted the seventh Best African Player of the Year in 1987, needs urgent help.

Like a feline, Dawo would spring into the air, head and shoulders above his markers, setting himself up for bullet headers that for seasons were opposing goalkeepers' nightmare.

For his heading prowess, it was inevitable that Gor Mahia's class of '87 was destined for greater things as K'Ogalo pounded its way to a glorious treble of Africa Cup Winners Cup, Kenyan Premier League and the Moi Golden Cup.

Dawo scored 10 goals as Gor Mahia won the Africa Cup Winners' Cup and led Kenya's attack at the 1988 and 1990 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

One of rare Kenyan footballers aging gracefully, Dawo has been set back by the persistent injury to his left knee.

The agony is now chipping away Dawo's usual radiant smile, but still clings on hope that doctors will restore his walk as he races against time to raise Sh550,000 required for surgery in a Kisumu Hospital.

"Tentatively, July 15 is the day for the surgery," Dawo said.

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier paid tribute to Dawo's outstanding service to K'Ogalo and Kenya saying they would help him.

"We may have our financial challenges as a club, but life has to go on. We will help Dawo, however small the help would be because as Gor Mahia we are always concerned about our legends," Rachier said.

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