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Just in: Keshi is Dead

Former International and Africa Cup of Nations
winning trainer has passed on suddenly in Benin City,
Nigeria
Former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has sadly
passed, months after his wife, at the age of 54.
The former Super Eagles head coach had lost Kate, his
wife of 35 years, to cancer last December.
In a statement, family spokesman Emmanuel Ado
confirmed Keshi died of cardiac arrest in the early
hours of Wednesday.
"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 wrote.
“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," concluded the
statement.
The Big Boss, as he was fondly called, made his first
appearance for the Super Eagles in 1981 at age 20
and the central defender retired in 1994 after picking
up 64 caps and nine goals as he captained Nigeria to
win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as well as their
first appearance at the World Cup in the USA.
As coach, he helped tiny Togo reach the 2006 World
Cup in Germany before he was sacked and replaced
with German Otto Pfister, few months to the
tournament. He also handled Mali which he took to the
2010 Afcon in Angola.


He led the Super Eagles side to success at Afcon
2013 where they won after 19 years. He managed the
side to the Fifa Confederation Cup 2013 and 2014 Fifa
World Cup and became the African coach to reach the
knock out stage where they fell to France in the Round
of 16.


However, his side failed to qualify for the 2015 Afcon
which led to his third and final disengagement by the
Nigeria Football Federation after a long and fractious
relationship.
Keshi was the only Nigerian coach to have won the
Africa Cup of Nations and second African to win the
trophy both as a player and a coach.
He started out with St. Finbarr’s College, Lagos and
featured for domestic club sides ACB Football Club
and New Nigeria Bank before leading a generation of
Nigerian footballers abroad when he went to Cote
d’Ivoire’s Stade d’Abidjan and Africa Sports. He then
made his way on to Belgium where he played for
Lokeren, Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg, among many
others.
His sad passing brings to five the number of former
players in the ‘Golden Generation’ of Nigerian football
to die. Among the triumphant Super Eagles squad of
1994, Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Rashidi Yekini
and Wilfred Agbonavbare have all died.
Keshi is survived by four children and his aged
mother.


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