Tributes as ex-Stars defender Gundi is laid to rest

Part of Gundi's family lay funeral flowers on the former Harambee Stars and Kenya Breweries' ...
Part of Gundi's family lay funeral flowers on the former Harambee Stars and Kenya Breweries' defenders' grave. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Former national team Harambee Stars Coach, Mohamed Kheri, and the former teammates paid their last respects as the late Simon Gundi was laid to rest on Wednesday at his home in Mkunguni, Kilifi County.

Hundreds gathered at Rabai-Ganga to pay homage to Gundi, the ‘greatest defenders of his generation’ who earned several caps with the national team while playing for Kenya Breweries – the forerunner of Tusker FC.

Gundi’s first born son, Harry Dingo, told those gathered at the burial ceremony his father had suffered a stroke early last month and had – until his demise last Wednesday – been recuperating at home in Mtwapa.

Among those in attendance were former Kenyan internationals, Elly Adero, Peter Odera and George Sunguti, who played with Gundi in his heydays.

“This is a sad day for East African football, he was an idol in every sense and our best ever defender at his time,” Kheri mourned.

According to Mohamed ‘Kenya One’ Abbas who played with Gundi in the seventies, he boasted the staggering recorded of never getting a booking while playing for the national team despite his position as a defender.

“His legacy will live on forever and he will never be forgotten. He is, without doubt, up there with the Gods of football, and there are few of them.”

The Kenya Football Coaches Association (KEFOCA) Chairman Ricky Solomon recollected on the tragic of Gundi’s demise as he condoled with his family.

“We were shocked and on behalf of KEFOCA we hereby send our sincere condolences to the bereaved family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. God rest his soul in eternal peace,” Solomon empathized.

Gundi was married to two beautiful wives; the late Elaji Ahmed and the late Agnes Muthui with whom he bore eight children, Harry Dingo Gundy, Mwajuma Gundy,Zamzam Gundy, Nafisa Fish Gundy, Chichi,Meggy,Hilda and Victoria.

He was born September 30, 1950 in Rabai, went to school at Mvita primary and Mombasa High School before venturing into football as a career.

He played for Breweries from 1960 to 1978 when he hung his boots to become an ardent fan of the beautiful game.

His death follows that of the legendary international goalkeeper and coach, James Sianga, who passed on in early September.

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Story By Mkalla Wa Mwambodze
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