Nigerian football icon stephen Okechukwu keshi died suddenly in the
early hours of Wednesday in Benin City, Edo state, according to
The former international football player and coach had lost his wife of
33 years, Kate, last year after a prolonged battle with cancer.
“He was not ill at all, never showed any signs of illness, but we
suspect he never got over the death of his wife,” a friend said.
He is survived by four children and his mother.
keshi, the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations,
achieved a rare feat in 2013 by becoming only the second person to win
the trophy both as a player and a coach.
The only other person to have achieved the feat is Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary.
keshi, a product of St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Lagos, started his
playing career at a very young age at ACB Football Club, and later
played for New Nigeria Bank, Stade d’Abidjan, Africa Sports, Lokeren,
Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg, and a host of other clubs.
He represented Nigeria 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.
He also coached Togo and Nigeria at the World Cup, as well as Mali.
keshi, nicknamed the “Big Boss” for his leadership skills, is the fifth
member of the all-conquering 1994 team to die, following Uche Okafor,
Thompson Oliha, Rashidi Yekini and Wilfred Agbonavbare.