June 9, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr
Sierra Leone Football Association president, Isha Johansen, has on behalf of the Executive Committee and the football family in Sierra Leone extended her heartfelt condolences to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the family of late Coach Stephen Okechuku Keshi.
The former Super Eagles legend and coach passed away on Wednesday morning (8 June) after a sudden cardiac arrest.
The late Keshi was one of the iconic captains of the Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles, and former coach of the team; he became the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations when he led the Super Eagles to victory in 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“A great soul has departed, but the memories shall never fade. Your loss is huge, and I can only share your pain. Keep faith and courage. I am sorry for your loss. May his departed soul rest in perfect peace,” the SLFA President said.
Keshi, who was popularly called ‘The Big Boss’, also became the second person in history to win the Nations Cup competition as a player and coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt.
The late defender rose to national prominence after he debuted for the Super Eagles in 1981 at age 20 and went on to have 64 caps, scoring nine goals. Keshi withdrew from the national team in 1994.
He is the fifth member of the glorious 1994 Super Eagles team to have died after Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Rashidi Yekini and Wilfred Agbonavbare. He is survived by four children and his mother.