Henry Omino, the seasoned football tactician with a career spanning over four decades, is no more.
Confirmed on Friday 20 March to have succumbed to cancer after a long battle, Omino, most recently active on the touchline for Kisumu All Stars Football Club, had taken a brief break after parting ways with the lakeside team.
“The Kisumu All Stars family is this morning deeply saddened by the passing on of our immediate former Head Coach Henry Omino. Omino succumbed to cancer after a long battle. We are thankful for, the beautiful moments and memories we shared with him,’’ a post from Kisumu All Stars reads.
The veteran tactician is being mourned far and wide across the country; from current footballers, coaches, former footballers, and fans – a testament to his immense influence on the Kenyan game for the time he was around.
Starting out with Kisumu Posta, and later on Kisumu Telecom in the late 70’s, little did he know that he would dedicate his entire life to football. Omino led Telecom into the then Super League (currently Kenyan Premier League) after weathering the storms of the district and provincial leagues. As a player-coach, he would juggle the two until 1977 when he saw it fit to pursue a coaching course.
His chequered career saw him lead such clubs as Kisumu All Stars in the 80’s, producing later internationals as Washington Muhanji and Frank Wetende, the latter, Allan Wanga’s father.
Scarlet (Ulinzi Stars) and Re-Union were also his stations in the 90’s and he would, in fact, have his first continental experience with Re-Union against Ugandan giants Sports Club Villa.
Known for his knack of winning big matches, Omino’s appetite for such clashes goes back in time. While at Telecom, he built a giant-slaying unit, a team composed of the telecommunication employees.
Omino left for Britain in 1986 for further improvement of his coaching badges and upon returning in 1987, sunk right back at Kisumu Posta. He would, later on, lead such teams as Agro Chemical FC and Western Stima FC, his most notable spell in the present age, of course, being his stint with the Powermen from Kisumu.
He led Western Stima to the final of the inaugural KPL Top 8 tournament in 2011, only to lose to Ulinzi Stars, and in his time in the KPL, won the Coach of the Month award numerous times.