British colonialists introduced football in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th Century. By the 1940s and 950s, the game had taken root.
The national team took part in the Gossage Cup, which pitted it against Tanzania and Uganda. Among the stalwarts of the 1940s and 1950s were Shem Chimoto, Elijah Lidonde and Peter Oronge. Clubs competed in the Remington Cup organised by the Pootball Association (EA), the then supreme soccer body. ‘leams from Coast Province, in particular Mwenge and Peisal, dominated the local scene, producing classy players like Kadir Farah, Ahmed Breik, Ali Sungura and Ali Kadjo. No teams were drawn from Nyanza, Western, Central and Eastern provinces until later.
The idea to start a national league was mooted at a meeting at Nairobi’s Railways Club and attended by football leaders in the early 1960s. It was attended by Iimmy Mcllarnell (convener), Isaac Lugonzo, Williams Ngaah and Tony Pinto, among others. A committee, headed by Lugonzo as founder-chairman and Pinto as secretary, was formed to work out the logistics of running the league.
It started with four matches two in Nairobi and two in Mombasa. The legendary Ioe Kadenge, who turned out for Maragoli United, scored the fastest goal of the league. Nakuru All—Stars, coached by Ray Bachelor Rift Valley provincial sports officer, won the first league title. Luo Union, inspired