• A career that looked likely to be grounded in clubs in and around his native Nakuru County suddenly looked like it could pitch camp anywhere in the world.
•Softie started playing soccer at early an age. His family had players. His elder brother played for Oserian and Sher Karuturi and all his sisters used to play in school.
When he scored those goals for minnows Nakuru All Stars against Gor Mahia in 2014, a whole new realm of possibilities in the football world opened up for young John 'Softie' Ndirangu.
A career that looked likely to be grounded in clubs in and around his native Nakuru County suddenly looked like it could pitch camp anywhere in the world.
So dominant was he against international calibre players like David 'Calabar' Owino that even the Gor hierarchy noticed.
That performance, Ndirangu admitted, catapulted him to fame and fortune.
"I think my career really took off when Nakuru All Stars were playing against Gor in Nakuru and we won 2-0. I scored both goals. Their coach then was Bobby Williamson, who was later appointed Harambee Stars coach and all the times he called up players to the national team, he never failed to include me in his squads," recalls Ndirangu.
Softie started playing soccer at early an age. His family had players. His elder brother played for Oserian and Sher Karuturi and all his sisters used to play in school.
"We had footballers in our family. My dad was a goalkeeper and my mum was a defender so I think we inherited their talents. I started playing professional while I was in Form 2, when I joined Nakuru All Stars. I thank the team and everyone who made it possible for me. I believe it's the team behind my success in football," says the winger.
With football seemingly running in his blood, it was perhaps inevitable that the fleet-footed youngster would take it up as a career.
With the Kenyan Premier League then being broadcast live and the country's football in general on an upward trajectory, Softie needed little inspiration to embrace the game wholly.
"My role model in Kenya was Ayub Timbe and in Europe it was Cristiano Ronaldo. I liked his dribbling skills,speed and footwork and that's why I could play like him and the fans nicknamed me CR7,"remarks Ndirangu.
To get to where he wanted to be as a professional footballer, Ndirangu like all impressionable teenagers, needed to have a steady hand to guide him as he grew in the game.
To his advantage, he had former international Simon Mulama in his corner at a critical time in his development in football.
"I think every coach that I have gone through has inspired me greatly. Each coach, in his own unique way, helped me learn something new and I thank them all. However, Simon Mulama and Peter Okidi played a major role," he says.
After starring for Nakuru All Stars for a couple of seasons, Ndirangu was snapped up by Gor, after a short stint with AFC Leopards.
There, he won a KPL title and also earned his first international cap.
"My experience with Harambee Stars was good, despite being the young one in camp. The senior players motivated, and encouraged me and I think that's why whenever I stepped onto the pitch, I always played well," reveals Softie.
"But I can't forget my first game against Egypt in Aswan. I had never played in front of a packed stadium. I was introduced in the 70th minute.You could not hear even instructions from the bench.That experience made me love the game even more."
It all seemed to be going well for Softie's career. His agent soon organised for trials with several clubs in Serbia but none was fruitful and a move abroad came a cropper.
"Playing in a foreign country is not easy ,because for you to edge someone from his position, you must be good, almost three times better," explains Ndirangu.
The clubless forward adds:"When the coach gives instructions, he doesn't care if you understand the language or not but you have to do it correctly. They were speaking French in Serbia."
While it was unfortunate that Softie failed to get a professional contract overseas, his career seems to be on a free fall.
He moved to AFC Leopards, Gor and Kakamega Homeboyz before switching to Mount Kenya United.
The pressure of working hard to make his career a success as well as peer pressure have taken a toll on the 24 year old.
He, however, has no regrets over how his career has panned out so far.
"Wherever I have reached, I thank God and I never regret anything. In life, it's all about taking risks to make a good future and that's why I left AFC for Gor Mahia. I enjoyed life in all teams I played for and I thank them for the chance," says Ndirangu.
For a player as stylish as Softie, defenders had to use fair means and fouls to put him under control.
That meant constantly being out on the treatment table and those injuries might have contributed to his dwindling fortunes.
"I had a fair share of rough treatment from many opposing players. I think the toughest opponent I faced is Geoffrey Kokoyo of Ulinzi Stars. Whenever I played against the guy, he always insulted me, trying to intimidate me. Every time we met in a match regardless of the team I played for, he would always give me the rough treatment. That made me fear him but anytime I got the better of him I would score," narrates Ndirangu.
Despite his relatively youthful age and how his career looks stuck in a rut, Ndirangu has enjoyed some memorable moments notably when he was in Gor Mahia and they played against English Premier League side Everton FC.
"It was the best feeling playing against the likes of Wayne Rooney. Featuring for Harambee Stars and winning titles with Gor Mahia are some of the memories I treasure in my career to date," observes Ndirangu.
Though he is a free agent, Ndirangu still trains hard and hopes he will be back playing competitive football soon.
"I am still playing soccer though am currently a free agent but in the next one week, God-willing, I will join a club that I will not mention just yet."
Outside football, Ndirangu deals in several business ventures.
He has a boutique in downtown Nairobi City Centre where he sells clothes, shoes and duvets. Seeing how his career has gone, he advises young footballers that nothing comes easy.
"You have to sweat for it, work hard, pray more and take risks. Only God knows the destination of each and every person," he concludes.