Grief as Bandari FC team manager Obwaka dies


Grief as Bandari FC team manager Obwaka dies

Bandari FC and Kenya’s football fraternity is mourning the sudden demise of the club’s Team Manager, Charles Obwaka, on Thursday dawn after reportedly suffering from heart attack.

Obwaka, who rose through ranks of player, captain, assistant coach and finally TM at Bandari is said to have developed breathing problems immediately after watching the London Derby classic between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC.

The former Kenyan international complained of severe chest pains whilst sweating profusely and experiencing difficulty in breathing moments after the match had ended.

He was then rushed to Alfaruk Hospital but could not access oxygen support thus was transferred to Mewa Hospital. He was pronounced dead upon arrival, and his body taken to Jocham Mortury, Mombasa.

Former Harambee Stars coach, Twahir Muhiddin, now Bandari’s Technical Director has eulogised the late as unforgettable part of the club.

“I don’t know what to say, he dropped me at my place yesterday at 6:00PM EAT (+3GMT) and he was 100 percent okay. He however had high blood pressure condition.

“We were supposed to meet today for discussions about the forthcoming Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season. It is a big blow to all of us and for me, having trained him from his Under-20 times to working with him in the team’s management,” an emotional Muhiddin told Citizen Digital.

The veteran coach recalled a young Obwaka rising from Mombasa’s Ganjoni estate, where he played for Ganjoni AllStars where he won the Mombasa Davison One League, and would later call him up in the national team Harambee Stars during the late Reinhardt Fabisch era.

“I have known him for long. He was an ardent Arsenal fan and may be the match caused him the pressure leading to the heart attack that doctors said. He has left a lot pending but, but God is never questioned,” added Muhiddin.

Premonition

Coincidentally, Obwaka on Wednesday was bidding colleagues unbeknown goodbye, perhaps as a clear premonition of his death.

Bandari head coach Ken Odhiambo recalled pieces of advice he had offered the previous day, which he says was an unusual talk.

“We had a meeting with him yesterday, he was telling me this year we must leave a mark and make our fraternity happy. Amazingly, he told me I must always be so close to Muhiddin, advising he is our senior here. He was very jovial, and it hit me hard to learn he was no later in the night,” Odhiambo averred.

Club Chief Executive Officer Edward Oduor on his part said Bandari has lost an all-rounder whose immense contribution to the Dockers growth will always be remembered.

“I remember contacting him in 2003 when he was at Coast Stars. We (Bandari) had been relegated and I shared with him my five-year plan that I had submitted to the management of getting back to the topflight.

“He accepted to join us as a player-cum assistant coach, and the rest is has been a journey of comradeship to the last day,” Oduor recalled.

His demise comes at a time the Bandari family is still mourning the loss of Darius Msagha’s baby, who was buried on Wednesday.

The Dockers took a break from training on Thursday morning and converged at the mortuary to mourn with the family and friends, before the body was moved to Pandya Hospital, Mombasa. He leaves behind a widow and three daughters.

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