‘Cassavas & sweet potatoes’ - Gor Mahia's ‘Blackberry’ reveals secrets to his longevity after winning seventh league title

©George 'Blackberry' Odhiambo Twitter.

FOOTBALL ‘Cassavas & sweet potatoes’ - Gor Mahia's ‘Blackberry’ reveals secrets to his longevity after winning seventh league title

Joel Omotto 07:00 - 28.06.2023

The Gor Mahia forward added another medal to his glittering trophy cabinet and he feels it would have been possible without a good lifestyle

Gor Mahia forward George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo has credited his longevity to a good lifestyle after winning his seventh league title which puts him in an excusive class.

Odhiambo is one of the most successful players in the Kenyan league and added another medal to his glittering trophy cabinet when Gor won their 20th league crown on Sunday.

With the victory, Odhiambo is effectively the second most decorated player in the Kenyan top flight, after ex-teammate Boniface Oluoch, taking his haul to seven titles, six with Gor and one with Tusker FC.

Blackberry, has had three stints at K’Ogalo, his love affair with the record champions beginning in 2009 when he signed aged 16 from Thur Gem High School. He was named the Most Promising Player that year before he was crowned Player of the Year the following campaign after which he left for Danish side Randers.

George 'Blackberry' Odhiambo after winning title with Tusker in 2021.
©Tusker Facebook.

An unsuccessful spell in Denmark saw him leave the following year before trying his luck in Finland with Kuopino, Tanzania moneybags Azam, Shikar and Ulisses both in Armenia but he found it hard abroad and K’Ogalo welcomed him back in 2014.

His return to Gor came at a time K’Ogalo were a winning machine and he featured for the club from 201-19, winning five titles in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2018-19 before he left for Tusker where he claimed the 2020-21 crown before returning to Gor in 2021, and he is now a champion again.

“I started at a young age and my lifestyle has not been bad. I take a lot of water and sleep early,” Odhiambo told Pulse Sports on the secretes to his longevity.

“The body gets so tired so you need to sleep early otherwise you will have problems. I eat cassava, I don’t touch mandazi or chapati. I eat cassava and sweet potatoes.

“I avoid sugary and fatty foods. I also rarely eat in restaurants, I prefer home cooked meals and from the village.”

In a league where most players rarely take care of their lifestyles, Odhiambo seems to be a different breed and has inevitably reaped the rewards for it.

George 'Blackberry' Odhiambo when he won the 2010 Player of the Year.
©Gor Mahia.

“To young players coming up, please take good care of your body. It does not have a spare part. You also need to be disciplined and respect your contract,” he added.

Having been in the game for so long, it is remarkable that Odhiambo is still only 30 and with plenty of football at the top level still left in him.

Injuries have reduced his game time in the just-concluded season but if he remains fit, it will not be the last time a story is written about him lifting a league title.