Kenya: 'We Can't Believe It's Happening' - Kenya Rugby Legends Bemoan Railway Club Demolition

20 September 2020

Mwamba Rugby Club legends Edward "The Eagle" Rombo and Humphrey Kayange are yet to come to terms with the new directive which will see the club's homeground, Nairobi Railway Club, will now be demolished to pave way for the Expressway.

The team, one of the oldest rugby clubs in the country, will have no place to call home for the first time in 42 years.

The club that has put up at the Nairobi Railway Club since its formation in 1977, will be vacating the venue to create room for a bus terminus and the intended expressway from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Westlands.

"We have many good memories at Railway Club from the gymnasium, pitch, club house bar," said Rombo, adding that it's at the club where women's rugby began in the country.

"We were the first club to train and form a women's side," said the 53-year-old.

Rombo said that Railway Club was a convenient venue since it's close to the city centre and easily accessible by public transport. "The fields were wide and open hence ideal for all manner of activities and training," explained Rombo adding that it was sad that a prime sporting facility like Railway Club can be demolished.

Rombo played for Mwamba on his return to Kenya after retiring from professional rugby league in the United Kingdom between 2000 and 2003.

"I was convinced to join Mwamba by the former coach and chairman Mwangi Muthee, who got me back to training and playing," said Rombo, who went on to coach Mwamba from 2003 to 2005 before joining Kenya Sevens bench as assistant coach and team manager.

"I continued to be an active member of the club coaching on and off and also assisting in handling various legal and political issues for instance in drafting their updated constitution to comply with the Sports Act," explained Rombo.

Kenya Sevens legend Kayange, 38, brewed his rugby career at the Nairobi Railway Club, having joined Mwamba in 2006 after one season with defunct Ulinzi Rugby Club.

"This is where some of Kenya's top rugby stars refined their rugby skills. We have a deep and fond attachment to this ground," said Kayange, adding that he is still in shock.

"This is the only club that is at the city apart from the University of Nairobi's Mean Machine," said Kayange, who went on to captain Kenya 15s side Simbas and Kenya Sevens team.

Kayange, who is now the athletes' representative at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K), said they now have to think of finding a new home before the rugby season resumes.

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