Colourful Kenyan football fan hacked to death

The killers came from behind a tree and "cut his neck like someone who is slaughtering a cow", one of his wives, Farida, told reporters.
Colourful Kenyan football fan hacked to death

Agency Report

Kenyans were mourning Thursday the country's best known football fan, a colourful former newspaper vendor who was hacked to death at his home.

Issac Juma Onyango was a familiar feature when the national team Harambee Stars were playing -- painting his body from head to toe in Kenya's colours of black, red and green, and staging animated dances in the stadium.

"His passion for the game was unmatched," the Harambee Stars said in a tribute on Twitter.

For more than two decades, Onyango was a walking advertisement for the Harambee Stars and other top club teams, including his favourite AFC Leopards, and his appearance in the stadium was believed to be a good luck charm.

"I do it because I love football so much, I can hardly miss an international match anywhere in the country," he said in a 2007 interview with a Kenyan newspaper.

"After being painted I stop talking to anybody, abstain from sex and do nothing to compromise my concentration until after the match."

He said his love for the beautiful game began when he was a youngster and he used to sneak out of school to watch football matches.

Onyango was awarded a Kenyan lifetime achievement award in 2011 for his contribution to football.

The 56-year-old was hacked to death by armed men at his village home in western Kenya on Wednesday in what was believed to be a dispute over ancestral land, police said.

The killers came from behind a tree and "cut his neck like someone who is slaughtering a cow", one of his wives, Farida, told reporters.

Police said they had arrested a 27-year-old man from the same village they described as the main suspect in the attack, which took place just as Onyango and his family were sitting down for dinner.

"Preliminary investigations linked him to the murder most foul," the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Twitter, adding that the suspect will be charged on Friday with murder.

Onyango is survived by two wives, while media reports said he had 10 or 11 children.

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