It is exactly one year former Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi passed away and tributes have poured in from the players as well as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017.
The Super Eagles while in training ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo, observed a minute of silence in memory of the late coach.
Here are 15 fast facts about the football ICON, a legend and a figure whose memorable can not be forgotten in a hurry by of the Nigerians even in death.
15 Facts About Late Stephen Keshi
1. Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was born on January 23, 1962.
2. He was from Illah town in Delta State
3. He began his football career with the popular Lagos-based side, African Continental Bank Football Club (ACB) in 1979 and New Nigerian Bank (NNB) from 1980 to 1984 in Edo state.
4. Stephen Keshi migrated to Cote d’Iviore where he had successful spells with Stade d’ Abidjan in 1985 and 1986 respectively scoring 4 goals in 35 league appearances for both clubs.
5. He was nicknamed the ‘Big Boss’ owing to his leadership skills.
6. He represented Nigerian national team from 1982, at age 20, till 1994, most of the time captaining the Super Eagles and scoring vital goals from his position as a central defender.
7. Keshi was one of only two men to win the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach
8. As a player, Stephen Keshi was part of the Super Eagles team that won the Nations Cup in 1994 and narrowly missed out on a World Cup quarter- final place the same year
9. He coached the Nigeria national team over three spells, leading them to the 2013 Nations Cup title in South Africa and the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
10. Stephen Keshi also managed the Nigerian, Togolese and Malian national teams during his coaching career. He guided the Togolese team to their only World Cup appearance till date.
11. Following Super Eagle’s failure to reach the 2015 Nations Cup finals, Stephen Keshi was sacked as a caretaker coach but reinstated after intervention from then Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan.
12. He was sacked for a final time in July 2105.
13. The ex-international lost his wife, Nkem Kate Keshi, in December 2015, after a long battle with cancer. Before her death, they had been married for 35 years.
14. Stephen Keshi died on June 7th, 2016 after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was buried July 29th, 2016.
15. He is survived by four children and an aged mother.