The 33-year-old defender, who was on loan at Shabana from Posta Rangers, succumbed to a stomach injury he sustained on Friday during a friendly match between non-league sides Town Warriors and Patarion at Gesure Primary School grounds in Nyamira County.
The match was abandoned in the 40th min after the player collided with the opponent’s goalkeeper and sustained the injury.
He was rushed to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) but he was not attended to since doctors are on strike. He was then referred to Nyangena hospital, a private health facility the same day where he was treated and discharged.
His condition worsened on Sunday and he was rushed to Nyangena where he was booked for an operation according to his brother Jasper Marube. He died on Monday night immediately after the operation due to intestine complications caused by the injury.
Marube, who was among tens of spectators who were watching the match, said that while they performed first aid to him, his condition did not improve.
“My brother cried loud…’Jesus! Jesus! my stomach’, we tried to administer first aid but he was in a lot of pain, something that forced the centre referee to abandon the match in the 40th minute,” said Marube.
The body has been moved to Nyangena hospital mortuary with family members saying burial arrangements are underway. The deceased has left behind a wife and four children.
Obutu started his football career back in high school in 2002. In 2009, he attended trials at Posta Rangers where he was signed as a right back. He played for Posta until 2016 when he was loaned to Shabana.
He was among the players who guided the ‘Glamour Boys’ to the National Super League from the National Division One after winning the promotion play-off in 2018.
“It is very sad to lose him at this time when we needed his services the most. We regret that it might take long to get another player who can fill his position. Obutu was a utility player who could at times play as a midfielder,” said Nyaberi.
Wycliffe Nyangechi, the club’s captain, told Nation Sport that he was still in shock following the death of Obutu who he described as a great player and a leader on the pitch.
‘Dedicated and loyal’
Shabana leaders eulogised Obutu as a “dedicated and loyal player.”
“We as Shabana football club, express our sincere condolences to the family of Obutu. He was a dedicated player who gave his all to Shabana,” said chairman Jared Nivaton in his condolences message.
“He was a humble and disciplined player. While other players moved to other clubs due to financial constraints, he stood with us,” said the club’s organising secretary, Stephen Kiama.
Former Shabana players led by Elijah Onsika also passed their condolences.
“It’s sad to lose such a good talent in such circumstances. It’s quite unfortunate,” noted Onsika, a former Harambee Stars player.
Shabana were relegated from the top-tier league in 2006 after leadership wrangles rocked the club. They were further relegated to Division One in 2016 before returning to National Super League (NSL) in 2018.
The Kisii-based side finished tenth in the 2019/20 season.