In 1986, AFC Leopards SC won the top national football league in Kenya with an unbeaten record.
Since the 1979 season, the national diadem had been contested and shared only between Leopards and traditional arch rivals Gor Mahia with Gor Mahia taking the 1979 crown before Leopards went on to win the title three consecutive years 1980 to 1982. But what Leopards could do, seemingly, Gor could do too and Gor went ahead to win the title three years in a row too from 1983 to 1985! That set the stage for the 1986 title showdown that was always going to be another Leopards versus Gor Mahia issue and this time Leopards did it in style winning the title unbeaten!
The top two standings at the end of the season were:-
In an effort to outdo Leopards, Gor went ahead to win the treble (African Cup Winners, League and Moi Golden Cup) in 1987 before Leopards won the 1988 league unbeaten once again and also won the 1989 league title. Gor seeing Leopards win the league twice went ahead to win it twice too in 1990 and 1991 before Leopards won in 1992 and Gor took it back in 1993.
The memories of 1986 when AFC Leopards became the champions of Kenya with an unbeaten record will always however linger on.
Leopards all time leading goal scorer in the league Wilberforce Mulamba finished the season as the top scorer at Leopards with 21 goals whilst Francis Kadenge followed in second place with 15 goals whilst Patrick Shim scored 14.
The Leopards coach was Graham Williams, who is featured in the third issue of the Ingwe Fan magazine.
In the 38 matches played, the Leopards kept a clean sheet in 19 which was half the matches played.
Twice against Gor Mahia and Re Union, the Leopards fell back to 2-0 scorelines but came back to win both matches 3-2.
To illustrate the industriousness of this Leopards team, they played consecutive matches within twenty four hours playing both on Saturday and Sunday for a total of 10 weekends. The league commenced in February but by September, 38 matches had been played.
Leopards won both league clashes against Gor Mahia.
The biggest win of the season came against Blue Triangle whom Leopards beat 8-0 away whilst rthe biggest home win was 6-0 against Nzoia Sugar.
Two players scored hat-tricks for the Leopards during the season with the first coming from Eliakim Amalemba against Kisumu Posta whilst the other was by golden boot Wilberforce Mulamba against Blue Triangle.
Patrick Shim had the longest goal scoring streak as he scored in four consecutive league matches from 2nd of June against Re Union, Kenya Breweries (now Tusker FC), Blue Triangle and Kahawa United. The next goal scoring streak was by… yes, Patrick Shim for three matches starting from 31st August.
Of the 96 goals for Leopards, 3 were own goals whilst 3 were penalties.
Just like last season, the fastest goal was by a Kadenge, this time within the first minute against Kenya Tailex mills (KTM) by Francis Kadenge. The latest goal was the goal by Patrick Shim against Gor Mahia in the 90th minute.
It was remarkable that the Leopards went through the season without top striker Jay Jay Masiga who had knee trouble and sat out the entire season.
In a dramatic finale, Leopards played the last match against Kenya Breweries and were trailing 1-0 when David Akoi scored a last gasp equalizer. The Brewers disputed the goal and even knocked out Akoi's teeth. But the Kenya Football Federation upheld the result and it stood 1-1 leaving Leopards with an unblemished record in the League.
The only blemish to this unbeaten run in the league was that shockingly, the Leopards fell in the first round of the Moi Golden Cup to an inspired Volcano United whilst also going out in the Cup Winners Cup to FC Kalamu of then Zaire in the second round.
The full league results are as follows:-
* Date, Versus, Opponent, Venue, Scores (Leopards score always first shown), Leopards goal scorers [minute goal scored]
15 Feb v Scarlet (Nyayo) 2-1 W. Mulamba  
22 Feb v Kitale (Kenyatta) 0-0
23 Feb v Eld Posta (KipKeino)3-1 W. Mulamba   E. Amalemba 
1 Mar v KTM (Thika) 1-1 D. Akoi 
2 Mar v Ksm Posta (Nyayo) 4-1 E. Amalemba    P. Shim 
9 Mar v Mumias Sugar (Nya) 3-0 P. Ouma  M. Weche [65 pen] T. Lidonde 
15 Mar v Bata Bullets (Nyayo)2-0 F. Kadenge  F. Oduor [44og]
19 Mar v Black Mamba (City) 1-0 T. Lidonde 
22 Mar v Wanderers (Nyayo) 4-1 P. Shim   F. Kadenge  W. Mulamba 
6 Apr v Nkr Police (Nyayo) 3-0 J. Shoto Lukoye  P. Zimbo  M. Amwayi 
19 Apr v Motcom (Bukhungu) 4-1 M. Amwayi  P. Zimbo  W. Mulamba  
20 Apr v Nzoia Sugar (Kdyi) 3-0 W. Mulamba   F. Kadenge 
27 Apr v Blue Triangle (Nya) 2-0 M. Amwayi  F. Kadenge [63 pen]
1 May v Gor Mahia (Nyayo) 2-1 M. Amwayi  D. Akoi 
4 May v Kahawa Utd (City) 2-1 W. Mulamba  F. Kadenge 
17 May v Shabana (Gusii) 2-0 D. Musuku  W. Mulamba 
18 May v Transcom (Afraha) 4-1 D. Akoi   D. Musuku  B. Mainga [65 og]
2 Jun v Re Union (City) 3-2 W. Mulamba   P. Shim 
8 Jun v K. Breweries (Nya) 4-1 P. Shim   F. Kadenge  
14 Jun v Blue Triangle (Mks)8-0 W. Mulamba    D. Akoi   J. Shoto Lukoye  F. Kadenge  P. Shim 
15 Jun v Kahawa Utd (Nyayo)1-0 P. Shim 
21 Jun v Mumias Sugar (Kdy) 1-0 Wesonga [10 og]
22 Jun v Ksm Posta (Moi) 2-0 D. Musuku  H. Omondi 
28 Jun v Bata Bullets (Lim) 0-0
29 Jun v KTM (Nyayo) 2-0 F. Kadenge  H. Omondi 
5 Jul v Transcom (Nyayo) 2-0 T. Lidonde  
6 Jul v Motcom (Nyayo) 4-1 H. Omondi  D. Akoi  F. Kadenge  W. Mulamba 
12 Jul v Wanderers (Msa) 1-1 D. Akoi 
19 Jul v Re Union (Nyayo) 2-1 P. Ouma  D. Musuku 
26 Jul v Kitale (Nyayo) 3-0 F. Kadenge   W. Mulamba 
2 Aug v Gor Mahia (City) 3-2 D. Musuku   P. Shim 
9 Aug v Nzoia Sugar (Nyayo) 6-0 D. Akoi  P. Ouma  F. Kadenge [27 pen]  P. Shim  
30 Aug v Shabana (Nyayo) 2-1 W. Mulamba  D. Musuku 
31 Aug v Black Mamba (Nyayo) 3-1 A. Isabwa  W. Mulamba  P. Shim 
6 Sep v Eld Posta (Nyayo) 2-0 D. Musuku  P. Shim 
13 Sep v Nkr Police (Afraha)1-0 P. Shim 
14 Sep v Scarlet (Afraha) 3-1 P. Lichungu  F. Kadenge  D. Musuku 
20 Sep v K. Breweries (Nya) 1-1 D. Akoi 
*acknowledgements to Emmanuel Mketu, Francis Nandi and Victor Bwibo for their Leopards Archiving Project for the years 1964 to 2011. You may request for any seasons results by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org