Kenya rugby pays hearty tributes to its lost gem Gecheo


Ogeto Gecheo (Center Knee-to-chest-jumping) joins teammates in a warm-up session. PHOTO/COURTESY
Ogeto Gecheo (Center Knee-to-chest-jumping) joins teammates in a warm-up session. PHOTO/COURTESY

The untimely death of Ogeto Gecheo, the young Nondescripts RFC gem, triggered an outpouring of messages of condolences from the Kenya rugby fraternity for one of the sport’s rising stars who passed away on Tuesday morning.

Kenya sevens team captain Andrew Amonde led tributes for OG – as he was fondly referred to by those within his circles – who succumbed to a nasty back injury sustained during their Kenya Cup match against Strathmore Leos on Saturday at Madaraka Grounds.

The 19-year-old Gecheo got injured as he attempted to tackle an opponent during the match and despite undergoing a largely successful surgery and even regaining control of his limbs, OG developed breathing difficulty early Tuesday morning and was pronounced dead at about 3am.

“Gone too soon. Rest in peace Ogeto Gecheo. Until we meet again.” Amonde posted on his Facebook account.

His club, Nondies, and where his elder brother Auko Gecheo serves as the chairman wrote an emotional tribute for their budding star:

“We the Nondescripts family are still coming to terms with the loss of a brother and player gone too soon. OG was in his first season with the club and had earned immense respect from the coaching staff as well as players young and old for his great potential.

“We cannot express enough gratitude to the Kenya rugby fraternity for the messages of condolence that continue to stream in from all quarters. We also thank the Kenya Rugby Union for honoring OG by asking affiliate teams to observe a minute of silence in his remembrance.

“We have put our campaign on hold for the next two match days to give our departed Ranger a proper send off and stand with his family during this difficult time. OG will be laid to rest at the family home in Njoro on December 13, and as plans for the burial are finalized, friends and family are meeting at the Gecheo residence in Loresho daily from 6PM,” part of the statement read.

Rugby governing body, KRU), Kenya Cup clubs and other national team players joined in mourning the demise of the former Impala Bucks player who also captained Maseno School during the 2015 KSSA Games.

Here is what they said:

KRU: Our thoughts and prayers are with the @Nondies fraternity and the family of Ogeto Gecheo who passed away this morning. #RIPOG

Moses Ndale (KRU Director of Fixtures): You wake up every day hoping for the best and good news, today was totally the opposite. A very sad day indeed for rugby. Nondies rugby club and the Chairman Auka Gecheo we mourn with you. Such a young life to be lost. Rest in peace OG.#RIPOG

Humphrey Kayange (Kenya Sevens and Mwamba):  My thoughts and prayers with @Nondies and the Gecheo family this morning! Tragic loss of a smart, talented young player #RIPOgeto

Lavin Asego(Mwamba): We don’t understand but you require us to trust you and your timing. Sleep well brother #RIPOG.

Impala Saracens:

“Resolution Impala Saracens fraternity has learnt of the unfortunate demise of Ogeto Gecheo, former Impala Academy Captain. Ogeto who had transferred to Nondescripts RFC always showed great leadership promise. His input was always felt. We’ll miss him dearly. Our prayers go out to Mr. @AukaGecheo & the entire @Nondies family.

Kabras Sugar: We join in mourning the death of Ogeto Gacheo of @Nondies Rfc who succumbed to a spinal injury #RIPOG .

Kenya Harlequins: Very sad day in Kenya Rugby, our condolences @Nondies [email protected] and family. RIP OG until we meet again.

Western Bulls: Western Bulls Management and Players pass their heartfelt condolences to the Gacheo family and Nondies RFC…

KCB: What sad news RIP OG may the good Lord comfort the family. Our thoughts & prayers with you @AukaGecheo @Nondies #KenyaCup

USIU: Our Deepest condolences with @Nondies & the whole @OfficialKRU Family for the loss of a talented soul OgetoGecheo. May you rest in peace.

Brian Nyikuli(Kenya Simbas and Strathmore Leos captain): We may not understand why it had to happen but we leave it to God. Rest in peace OG and poleni sana Nondies..we are together in this.

Kenya Rugby 24/7: We are deeply saddened on th passing of Ogeto Gecheo who succumbed to a spinal injury incurred during their match over the weekend. RIP Brother.

Felix Ade(Nakuru):Sad news indeed. Pole AukaGacheo family. #RIPOG

Eric Kioko(Former Strathmore Captain now at Nondies): Lost for words this morning. This one really hurts. Rest in perfect peace OG!!

Simon Muniafu(Impala): Wishing his Family and @nondescript family my deepest regards. Sad the game took you too soon.

Ginton Adongo(Strathmore): Rest in Peace OG… Sad sad news.

Fahad Adil(Strathmore team manager): Thoughts & prayers to @Nondies & the family of OG who succumbed to an injury when playing against @StrathLeosXXVII Leos rugby mourns!!!!

 

-Additional reporting by Mutwiri Mutuota.

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