The immortals: The Origis were cut out for football

The Origis; Austin Oduor, Arnold Origi(inset) and Liverpool's Divock Origi Photo: Courtesy

This sporty family has carved its immortality on the roundness of a soccer ball. It’s curious that the Origis also come from Ugenya, the ‘granary of Kenyan football’ in Siaya County — a conveyor belt of soccer talent.

The story goes that the bulk of pioneer employees of the then East African Railways and Harbours Corporation were drawn from Ugenya and Alego in Siaya County.

In Nairobi they were settled in Makongeni, Kaloleni, Shauri Moyo, and Jericho in Nairobi’s Eastlands area where soccer grounds nurtured soccer talent among them, the Origis...

Austin Oduor Origi: Nicknamed ‘Makamu’ — meaning deputy (since he was vice captain of Gor Mahia) — this product of Highway Secondary horned his talent at Ziwani estate, home of Koth Biro soccer tournament.

The sublime, accurate long passer was Gor Mahia’s midfielder turned central defender, the best Kenya has ever produced. Austin is best remembered for taking the last penalty against Malawi during the famous semi-final at the 4th All Africa Games in Nairobi, taking Harambee Stars to the finals.

Few will forget Captain Austin Oduor lifting the Mandela Cup at Kasarani Stadium in 1987, the year Gor Mahia won the Africa Cup Winners Cup for the first and last time after beating Tunisia’s Esperence besides police marking arduous Liberian forward George Weah — then the World Player of the Year — in 1989 in Nairobi.

Mike Okoth Origi: The goalkeeper turned striker for Shabana FC in Kisii (where he attended Itiero Secondary). From Shabana, Kenya Breweries, now Tusker, made an offer he could not refuse.

His goal scoring exploits earned him a place at Harambee Stars — scoring a goal that took Kenya to the 1992 Cup of Nations. He was one of the earliest Kenyans to turn pro, playing for Bochar FC in Oman, then SKV Ostende, Harelbeke and FC Racing Gent all in Belgium, now his home country, where he played for over a decade.

Anthony Origi: Alumnus of Highway Secondary was left fullback for Mumias Sugar FC and was in the Kenya Breweries team that won Cecafa club Cups in the late 1980s before turning to managing Tusker FC.

Jared Origi: The accountant with the Oklahoma government was defender for Utalii FC fresh from Jamhuri High School in the late 1990s.

His stint at Harambee Stars saw him earn a scholarship at America’s St Gregory College in Oklahoma, earning All-America Honours in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in 2000/2001 seasons.

Arnold Origi: Son of Austin is best known for reflexive saves as a goalie for Mathare United, Tusker FC Harambee Stars and Norway’s FC Moss and Lillestroem FC.

He is best known for denying Uganda a chance in CHAN Cup after his acrobatic saves in Kampala

Divock Origi: Son of Mike Okoth is the first Kenyan to play at the World Cup, turning up for adopted Belgium in the 2015 World Cup in Brazil where he was one of the youngest players at 16.

The Liverpool forward in the English Premier League has played for Genk, Lille in the French League.

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