•Kadenge died at the age of 84 years.
•Retired President Mwai Kibaki also sent his condolences to the family.
President Uhuru Kenyatta led Kenyans in eulogizing fallen football legend Joe Kadenge who passed on yesterday in a Nairobi hospital.
Football enthusiasts and Kenyans at large were treated to a rude shock yesterday in the afternoon after reports emerged that the former Harambee Stars icon breathed his last after a long battle with illness.
Kenyatta described Kadenge as a sports legend and a sublime footballer who applied his talent fully in the service to his country.
In a message of condolence and comfort to the family, friends and relatives of the fallen football great, Kenyatta said Kadenge was an icon of Kenyan football.
"Joe Kadenge represented the best of our football. He was the icon of the sport in our country. It is sad that the hand of death has robbed us of a man who gave his all for the glory of our country."
Two years ago, the President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta visited the then ailing Kadenge at his Mariakani estate home in Nairobi to wish him well.
"Joe was my friend. He had great words of wisdom for me when First Lady Margaret and I visited him. He had great love for his country and held big dreams for Kenyan football. We will surely miss him." recalled Kenyatta
Retired President Mwai Kibaki also sent his condolences to the family.
"I have learnt of the passing on of the late evergreen soccer hero of Kenya. I take this early opportunity to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Kadenge."
ODM leader Odinga Raila who sent his condolences message to the family said in a tweet that the country today lost one of the greatest talents to ever grace a football pitch in the country’s national anthem
Raila eulogized him as a true ambassador for the country and Kenyan Soccer.“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the soccer fraternity for whom he was a figure to emulate."
The Chairman of Council of Governors (CoG) who doubles up as Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said "I am saddened to learn the passing of Kenyan legendary football Mzee Joe Kadenge whose mastery of the game made him an household name in Kenya in the 1960's and 70's,of the "Kadenge na Mpira" fame.At this moment of great sorrow my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, relatives as well as friends and the entire soccer fraternity in East Africa."
Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa wrote,"I am saddened by the passing on of Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge.His contribution and dedication to the game will forever be remembered and cherished both within and across our borders."
He added " On my own behalf and that of the entire Kenya football fraternity, I wish to send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Kadenge.Our thoughts and prayers are with you at these trying times, may you find solace in the memories."
His predecessor Sam Nyamweya described the fallen legend as a source of advice during his time at the tenure and thanked Raila for responding when he was hospitalized.
"It is with great sadness to have learnt of the passing on of Kenya’s legendary footballer Kadenge early this morning. Kadenge’s death is a big loss not only to his family and friends but to the entire nation. Kadenge was a symbol of inspiration to many Kenyans and also the true legend of football and sports in Kenya,He not only played for Kenya in the pre colonial days but also served the sport diligently as a team manager for the national team Harambee Stars, coach and also an advisor to many football players and managers in this country."
The former federation boss continued" Personally, I would turn to him for advise when I was the secretary general of the Kenya Football Federation and also later as president of the Football Kenya Federation. On behalf of the football community in Kenya and on my own behalf, I thank the President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for always being there for Kadenge during the time he was ailing."
Kadenge died at the age of 84 years.