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Meet the little-known tycoon who founded Shabana FC

by Samantha
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Shabana FC, affectionately known as the Glamour Boys, is poised to make a triumphant comeback to Kenya’s top-flight football league after an absence of nearly two decades. With a substantial and devoted fan base, particularly within its Kisii hometown, the club is set to reclaim its position in the limelight.

Founded in 1982 by the enterprising Kisii businessman Dogo Khan, born in 1950, Shabana FC owes its origins to Khan’s thriving hardware and construction materials store, Shabana Hardware. Drawing from his hard-earned resources, Khan established the club, naming it after his own establishment. Over time, Shabana became synonymous with the town, embraced fervently by Kisii’s football enthusiasts. Khan played a vital role in the club’s financial support and actively participated in its management, providing invaluable guidance to staff members.

The 1980s marked the pinnacle of the club’s success, captivating fans with its captivating style of play, earning the moniker of the ‘Glamour Boys.’ In 1987, Shabana achieved its most remarkable season, securing a remarkable 3rd place finish in the league, trailing only football giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. The club even represented Kenya in the Africa Champions Cup, although they were eliminated in the first round by Zambia’s Kabwe Warriors.

The year 2006 marked a downturn for Shabana as they were relegated from the top flight after a 21-year stint. The club faced challenging times and was temporarily disbanded. However, in 2008, Shabana was reestablished and embarked on a journey to reclaim its former glory, beginning its ascent through the lower leagues. The club garnered immense support from fans and earned recognition for nurturing local talent from Kisii’s high schools.

Recently, Shabana clinched the National Super League (NSL) championship, sealing their return to the Kenyan Premier League. A jubilant Dogo Khan could be seen on the pitch, wearing a wide smile. With a total of 73 points at the end of the season, Shabana FC secured first place, ahead of Murang’a Seal.

As the club prepares to reenter the top-flight league, reports suggest plans to sign over seven new players and bolster its technical staff.

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