Nairobi, May 16 (IANS) English Football League Championship side Hull City FC bade an emotional farewell to Kenya after the last contingent departed on Wednesday following their historic maiden tour to the country.
The Tigers touched the hearts and minds of millions in a trip of many firsts that climaxed on Sunday when they played Kenyan Premier League champions, Gor Mahia FC in front of more than 60,000 fans here, reports Xinhua news agency.
In a country that worships English Premier League giants like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, Hull managed to spark football hysteria on a scale not witnessed in the country in over two decades.
“We are a small club from north of England and to see the kind of reception we got here is nothing short of amazing. We will never forget Kenya and we leave here inspired to fight for promotion to the Premier League next season,” head coach Nigel Adkins said at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday.
“This trip has been nothing short of amazing. From the welcome we received and being able to fill the stadium for the game, it’s all been incredible. I just want to thank everyone who was involved and the Kenyans as a whole for this fantastic stay we have had here. I’m looking forward to many more initiatives like this in the future,” Adkins added.
Hull edged out Gor 4-3 on penalties in a game that brought out the biggest crowd at Kasarani since January 1997.
It competes with other titanic contests against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the English Premier League and their 2008 Championship play-off final at Wembley where club legend, Dean Windass, scored the famous goal that fired Hull to the top division for the first time since they were established in 1904.