8 June 2016
Nigeria’s former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, is dead. He was aged 54.
Keshi, who lost Kate, his wife of 35 years only on December 9, 2015, died of cardiac arrest in Benin in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8, a family source said.
He was survived by his aged mother and four children.
Keshi rose to national prominence when he debuted for the Super Eagles in 1981 at age 20. The Central Defender withdrew from the national team in 1994, having won 64 caps and scored nine goals.
Born on January 23, 1962 in Azare in the north of Nigeria, Keshi’s football profile rose significantly under the tutelage of Clemens Westerhorf, the Dutch foreign coach who handled Nigeria’s national football in the early 1990s
Keshi had the rare privilege of winning the African Cup of Champions twice, first as a player in 1994 when Nigeria lifted the Nations Cup and as coach in 2013 when Nigeria won the cup in South Africa.
The only other African to have achieved the feat is Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt.
Keshi also led Nigeria to the Quarter Final stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Revered as “Big Boss’’ among Super Eagles players, Keshi was also at one time or another the national of coach of Togo and Mali.
The Nigeria international rose to stardom outside Nigeria when he played for Anderlecht, a Belgian side.