Veteran Wazito defender Dan Owino has retired from football after a career spanning over 14 years, the club announced on Friday.
The diminutive left back has now taken up the team manager position that was left vacant at the club after the sacking of Bramwel Makotsi.
“I have decided to call it a day. It’s hard to say goodbye to my biggest dream (football) but I have to due to a niggling knee injury, I feel it’s time to move on to other things,” the 33-year-old told the club's website.
“It has been a decade at the club, I have been part of every achievement and challenge. We moved from the lower leagues to the top tier over the years. I am proud to have been part of all that. Making our debut in the Kenyan Premier League in 2018 was the highlight of my career I will always cherish that,” he added.
“To Mr. Rico (Wazito boss Ricardo Badoer), thank you for coming on board and your desire to take Wazito to the next level is commendable. To my former and current teammates, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the good and bad times we shared. To all the staff, the fans and everyone associated with Wazito football club, I want to say thank you!”
“I call him Mr. Wazito. He has been with us through thick and thin. He was never demanding and was always positive even when things looked really bad. He was a leader of the group, gave his teammates confidence and always gave 100% on the pitch,” Solomon Alubala, the club’s former Sporting Director said.
“We’ve had many coaches over the years and all of them played him because he was such an important player for the team. He was often written off because of his height but once you work with him you understand how good he is."
“I trained and played with him and he is probably one of the toughest defenders I have faced as a striker. It will take something special to go past him. His off the pitch life was also commendable, he has never courted controversy, and he is a humble family man. As he hangs his boots, I want to wish him all the best for the future. He has a deep understanding of the game and who knows, he could make a very good coach,” Alubala added.
Owino started out at the defunct Kangemi United in 2006. He then took a short break from football before moving to Ushuru and later Wazito.