The football world was thrown into mourning on June 8 when Stephen Keshi, who only lost his wife last December, died from a sudden cardiac arrest. In memory of this legendary Nigerian footballer and coach, here’s a list of things you didn’t know about him.
1. Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was born in 1962 and began playing football at a very young age for ACB Football Club followed by New Nigeria Bank.
2. He was born in Azare, Bauchi State and was originally from Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
3. He also played for foreign football clubs such as Africa Sports FC in Cote d’Ivoire, Anderlecht FC and Lokeren FC, both in Belgium.
4. He began playing for the Super Eagles at 20 and appeared 64 times throughout his career scoring a total of 9 goals.
5. As captain of the Super Eagles, he led the team to win the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and played briefly for Sacremento FC in the U.S afterwards.
6. He played on the same team as Rashidi Yekini and Sunday Oliseh before retiring and going to the U.S in 1995. While in the U.S, he got an education in coaching.
7. Apart from the Super Eagles, he also coached other African teams including Mali and Togo.
8. Up to this date, Stephen Keshi is the only coach to have taken the Togolese national team to the World Cup.
9. While serving as the Super Eagles coach in 2013, the football squad won the African Cup of nations. This made him one of the only two men to have won the tournament as footballer and coach.
10. He spoke fluent French and English and was nicknamed “Big Boss” due to his amazing leadership skills.
11. Keshi had four children with his late wife, Kate, and loved to spend his weekends with them.