When Sir Roger Moore was making headlines worldwide with his 1974 blockbusters GOLD and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, Ambrose Ayoyi must have watched in admiration the way Moore was starring in the movies orchestrating his roles with pure perfection. It was at that time that Bernhard Zgholl the German tactician who set up Olympic youth centres (Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu Ayoyi was a product of such) to cater for future talents.
He didn’t wait for long to curve his niche as a star soccer player Kenya has ever graced. Until to date he is the only player to be branded with the name ‘’GOLDEN BOY’’ Indeed his career has been full of golden glories especially at the national team level where he was blessed to play with the finer generation of the golden soccer age in the country. He started his soccer sojourn at Scarlet in 1979 and after showcasing enterprising displays, the national duty was inevitable.
During his first outing with the national team in 1981, he won the CECAFA Cup where stars defeated Tanzania 1-0 to win its second challenge cup.Infact he was an integral member of the stars side under the tutelage of Marshal Mulwa who won three straight CECAFA CUPS. (1981, 82, 83) The squad that won it went as follows; Mahmoud Abbas, Washington Muhanji,Ahmed Shero,Ronald Watsiera, George Virgo, Peter Bassanga, Joe Murilla, Dino Kitavi, the late Hussein Kheri, Sammy Taabu,the late Okello Zangi, the late Jacaranda Ouma, Elly Adero,the late Jack Sihul,Nickolas Lukati, the late Nahashon Mahila ,Wilberforce Mulamba, Joe Masiga ,Bobby Ogolla, and Jared Ingutia to name but a few. The majority of the named –above squad was part of the youth centers set up by Zgholl that toured the then West Germany in 1974.
It was during the 1983 edition that he rose to the occasion coming as the joint top scorer with Wilberforce Mulamba that he really made his mark.Nyayo national stadium will forever remain a historical part of his great soccer career. During the Semi –final match against Malawi he scored the first goal in the brand new Nairobi West stadium. It was at this same venue that he scored the goal of the tournament during the 1987 4th all African games in their 3-3 draw (this was after enabling Stars beat Tunisia 1-0 with a flying header).Coincidentally, it was the first goal that the current indomitable lions goalkeeping coach had conceded in his widely –accumulated career. It was in this same tourney that he stood out and being hugely instrumental in the national team run up to the finals that lost to Egypt 0-1.
When Algeria’s Rabeh Madjer won the 1987 African footballer of the year award, Ayoyi finished ninth. Indeed that year was a golden period for the Kenyan soccer as Stars qualified to the nations cup for the first time in fifteen years, won the silver medal during the 4TH All African games and Gor Mahia winning the Mandela cup where veteran striker Peter Dawo emerged the competitions top scorer with ten goals and was ranked as the seventh best African player. Ayoyi would play his first and the last nation’s cup in 1988 when Morocco hosted the event. After which his brief career came to an end with the involvement s of the national team.
He had won over the hearts upcoming soccer talents. Tom Odhiambo former under twenty one and national team striker described his striking partnership with Ayoyi as one of the best. During the 1992 season where Tom had just transferred from Gor to Bandari, was his explosive. He banged in goals like no one other business. This he attributed to Ayoyi’s work ethic. He worked hard for his striking partner and vice versa. More often than not, he highly encouraged his fellows to train extra hard and improve their weak points. It was no surprise when Tom last briefly at Bandari before earning a professional deal in Oman where he plied his trade with Boshar club.
Perhaps there is a misconceived part on his mood during the game day and his wrist band. Appearing quiet and totally withdrawn, Ayoyi was contemplating and meditating on how he would dismantle his opponents while the wrist band that was a permanent fixture on his right hand, only symbolized his signature just like Francis Kadenge hair style. Mark you both were pacy wingers and devastating finishers. Ayoyi now concentrates with his clerical career at Kenya Ports Authority where the golden sun rises and sets for him each day glowingly.