Former East Africa league and national team manager from Scotland looking forward his future in Kenya after positive cancer news

Bobby Williamson
Former Gor Mahia and Kenya National Team Manager Bobby Williamson.

Former Gor Mahia manager Bobby Williamson is looking forward to the future after being told by doctors that his cancer is in remission.

In 2017, cancerous cells were found in his nasal passage which led to 37 gruelling rounds of radiotherapy and seven chemotherapy sessions in India over a three month period.

But 14 months later, Williamson is in remission and last week received further positive news from his doctors that his recovery is continuing to look good.

For the 57-year-old Glaswegian, the last couple of years have given him the opportunity to reassess his own life and he is now looking forward to the future with Kenyan wife Michelle and their six-year-old daughter Saoirse. 

However, the treatment has not been without side effects with the Scot struggling to hear in one ear and losing his taste buds.

Williamson played as a striker for Clydebank, Rangers, West Bromwich Albion, Rotherham United and Kilmarnock. He then became manager at Kilmarnock, winning the 1996–97 Scottish Cup before moving to Hibernian in 2002 and Plymouth Argyle two years later. After being sacked by Argyle after just over a year in charge, he briefly took charge of Chester City, before being appointed manager of the Ugandan national football team. 

He joined Gor Mahia as their head coach in 2013 and led the team to their first national league championship in 18 years before being appointed Kenya national team manager in August the following year, until being replaced by ex-Mathare United manager Stanley Okumbi in February 2016.

However, despite his success in Kenya, he doesn’t think he’ll work in the country again. Speaking to Cheshire Live, Williamson said he is owed a “substantial amount” from the Kenya Football Federation, a matter which is going to court in May, and has still not received his bonus from K’Ogalo.

“If you can’t rely on the Kenya Football Federation and one of the biggest sides in the country to pay you what you are owed then who can you rely on?” he asked.

Although he doesn’t see himself working in football in Kenya, he has put down roots and can’t envisage moving away.

“My life is here now,” he said.

“My wife is Kenyan and has a good job over here, my daughter was born in Uganda and is at school here in Kenya and it is her home and I have friends over here now, and the sunshine helps. The people are great, too, some of them may not have much but they are happy with their lot.

“Nairobi is quite a cultural and modern city and it’s a nice place to live. I’m all about the shorts and flip flops so I can’t imagine moving back to Scotland any time soon,” he added.

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