President Uhuru Kenyatta has described Joe Kadenge as a sports legend and a sublime footballer who applied his talent fully in the service of his country.
In a message of condolence and comfort to the family, friends and relatives of the fallen football legend, the President said Kadenge was an icon of Kenyan football.
“Joe Kadenge represented the best of our football. He was the icon of the sport in our country. It is sad that the hand of death has robbed us of a man who gave his all for the glory of our country,” the President said.
Died at 84
Joe Kadenge, 84, who died on Sunday at a Nairobi hospital after a long struggle with illness is arguably the best striker Kenya has ever produced.
The famous term ‘Kadenge na mpira’ was coined by football commentators to honour his great exploits on the field during his hey days.
Two years ago, the President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta visited the ailing Joe Kadenge at his Mariakani estate home in Nairobi to wish him well.
“Joe was my friend. He had great words of wisdom for me when First Lady Margaret and I visited him,” the President recalled.
He continued “He had great love for his country and held big dreams for Kenyan football. We will surely miss him,”
Joe Kadenge was a highly gifted footballer who played for the national football team, Harambee Stars for a record 14 years starting in the 1960’s.
After hanging his playing boots, Joe went into football management where he distinguished himself and rose to become Harambee Stars coach in 2002.
President Kenyatta prayed God to grant the family, friends, relatives and the entire football fraternity in the country the serenity and fortitude to bear with the loss.