Long gone are the days when the means of earning a living were fixated upon conventional career paths such as Medicine and Law. Talented individuals are now making a decent living through the arts and sports. Football is the most popular sport in Kenya-and the world by extension-and pays millions of dollars for those who play in established leagues like the EPL and La Liga. This article takes you through the life of Nicholas Kipkirui, a Kericho-based professional footballer whose prowess on the pitch is undeniable.
Age and Place of Birth
Nicholas Kipkirui is 25 years old. His birthday is on 31, May 1996. He was born in Kericho County, where he was raised and attended school.
The lethal striker attended school in Kericho-Kaptoboiti Primary School clearing in 2011, before proceeding to secondary school in Kipchimchim Secondary School. He completed his secondary school studies in 2015.
Nicholas kicked-started his football career at a tender age, playing in the school and hood teams with friends. His skills quickly catapulted him to be noticed by Zoo Football Club. He began playing for Zoo in 2014 as a striker. He created a name for himself by showcasing his goal-scoring capability. After four years with Zoo FC, Nicholas got signed by Gor Mahia in the January 2018 transfer window. This opened for him a new and bigger platform to showcase his talent and propel his career forward. Hassan Oktay, Gor Mahia’s then head coach, commented on the number 7’s skill as top-notch striker who showed a lot of potential.
He has won awards and nominations for national titles such as the Young Player of the Year in 2018 and New Player of the Year. Furthermore, on the pitch, Nicholas Kipkirui was essential in bagging Gor’s victory against AFC Leopards at the SportPesa Premier League in 2019. His performance in the derby earned him admiration of Gor fans and even from the opposing team. Apart from his exploits at the local level, Kipkirui shined in the continental scene with his debut goal in that big stage coming in the 4-2 thrashing of Egyptian giants Zamalek in 2019 Group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup. He came off the bench to score the winner against APR of Rwanda in the Champions League preliminary round reverse fixture.
This was a bone of contention with fans, football critics, and reporters wondering about his exclusion from representing the country at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Nicholas is not only a footballer but also a football fan and enjoys watching games as a hobby. He has managed to keep information on his personal life under the wraps and away from public speculation.
In Kenya, football is a shaky affair and players’ income is not what you can call handsome. The withdrawal of Sportpesa and the corona pandemic has affected footballers in a big way. Kipkirui is among Gor players who have not been paid for five months, according to the club’s chairman Ambrose Rachier.
Rachier told KTN News of the situation at the club:
“Including this month, I will say Gor Mahia will have to pay salaries for five months, sometimes we are getting well-wishers just like we have Kulundeng, who came around with a small token and we are able to pay them Sh3, 000”
Joining Nairobi City Stars
The financial situation at Gor Mahia was not getting better with salaries remaining unpaid for months. Kipkirui house was locked due to non-payment of rent forcing him to relocate to his native home in Kericho.
He had to make the hard decision to quit the club and join Nairobi City Stars as a free agent. Tusker, Ulinzi and KCB had also showed interest in his signature. He said of his decision to leave Gor:
“I understand the money the sponsor was giving the club was not good enough to cater for all our needs. But it is obvious once there is less sponsorship, the club will struggle. And for one to make such a decision of leaving a team of Gor Mahia caliber, you must have consulted widely.”
Twitter – @ NKipkirui
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