Sofapaka's Ronald Okoth Gifts Barefoot Boy Who Went Viral [VIDEO]

  • The image of Stephen Ayot (indicated) which went viral
    The image of Stephen Ayot (indicated) which went viral on Friday, July 24
  • An image of a young player in an amateur football match in Kisumu County, focused on the game despite being barefoot while the rest of the players wore boots was widely shared on Friday, July 24.

    The image caught the eye of Sofapaka F.C striker Ronald Okoth who took it upon himself to look for the boy to gift him with boots, asking for his contacts in various football groups.

    Several other members of the football fraternity including players from Thailand and the United States joined in thanks to Okoth's efforts.

    Now, the player, identified as Stephen Ayot, is set to receive two pairs of boots and a full training kit in addition to shin pads, socks, shorts and two Sofapaka jerseys.

    File image of Ronald Okoth (l) in action for Sofapaka against KCB
    File image of Ronald Okoth (l) in action for Sofapaka against KCB

    One of the jerseys was signed by the target-man who recently launched a football academy for teens and pre-teens in Nairobi.

    Okoth revealed that he got in touch with Ayot who looked forward to receiving the gifts, with the story inspiring many Kenyans who shared their reactions.

    "I came across the picture and was touched by his heart and resilience. I can't imagine what it feels like to play football barefoot in this day and age.

    "I’ve had them (jerseys) printed with my official club jersey number 23 , I hope it becomes his favorite number until he turns professional.The kid will be extremely happy," Okoth noted on Monday, July 27.

    Like many other Kenyan footballers plying their trade in various leagues, Okoth has been forced to adapt to the end of the league and various government directives on Covid-19.

    His academy, RO Sports, ceased operations to curb the spread of the pandemic. The government, however, recently published guidelines expected to guide the resumption of sports activities.

    Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed announced on Thursday, July 2 that Principal Secretary Joe Okudo was leading the team to prepare for resumption of sports once the pandemic was dealt with.

    Facilities around the country used by athletes including stadiums and training centres had been closed as early cases of the virus were confirmed in Kenya.

    Various international sporting events that were to be held in the country including the World Athletics Under-20 Championship were also postponed.

    Watch a video shared by Okoth below: