One of the most iconic captains of the Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles, and former coach of the team, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, is dead, his family has announced.
He was 54.
Emmanuel Ado a brother to the late coach told PREMIUM TIMES the 54-year-old died of Cardiac arrest in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8.
“With thanksgiving to God, the Ogbuenyi Fredrick Keshi family of Illah in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, announces the death of Mr. Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi,” Mr. Ado said in a statement.
He continued “Our son, brother, father, father-in-law, brother-in-law, has gone to be with his wife of 35 years (Nkem ), Mrs. Kate Keshi, who passed on on the 9th December 2015.
“Since her death, Keshi has been in mourning. He came back to Nigeria to be with her. He had planned to fly back today Wednesday, before he suffered a cardiac arrest. He has found rest.”
Though deeply mourning the shock exit, Mr. Ado said the family remained grateful to God for the life spent by the Big Boss.
Mr. Keshi had lost his wife of 35 years, Kate, to cancer last December.
Mr Keshi, popularly called the Big Boss, is the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations.
He also became the second person in history to win the competition as a player and as a coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt when he led the Super Eagles to win the tournament in 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.