Eto Amaechina, Alabi Aissen, Chris Udemezue, Adeboye Onigbinde, Sam Opone, Paul Hamilton, Ismaila Mabo, Austin Ofoukwu, Monday Sinclair, Tunde Disu, Ganiyu Salami, Abdullahi Bebe, Willy Bazuaye, Emmanuel Ominu, Christian Chukwu, Bitrus Bewarang, Ben Duamlong, Kadiri Ikhana, Kafaru Alabi, David Adiele, Okey Emordi, Joe Erico, Lawrence Akpokona, Peter Fregene, Kelechi Emetoele, Zakari Baraje, Charles Bassey, Ufere Nwankwo, Tony Ottah, Mutiu Okunnu, Musa Abdullahi, Fanny Amun, Matthias Obianika, Alfred Ekundina, Godwin Etemeke, James Peters, Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi ….the list is inexhaustive of the men who have toiled night and day to bring our domestic football to where it is from the “stone age”.
Today some of them are no more….even as some are still in the business of fishing out talents from the nooks and crannies of our beloved country and nurturing them into stardom. They made most of our present day coaches who they are. Coaches like Gbenga Ogunbote, Imama Amakapabo, Kennedy Boboye, Edith Agoye and Kayode Julius among others are all products of the aforementioned coaches either as “understudy”….talking about assistant coaches under them or as players who played under their watchful eyes.
Today, on behalf of millions of football loving Nigerians, I say GOD BLESS YOUR SOULS….O MEN WHO MADE OUR FOOTBALL AND LEAGUE THICK both past and present (living or dead). I salute these men who aside from combing all playgrounds to hunt for talents, they travel far and wide week in, week out to league venues yet the bare the burden of the pressure of either winning or losing which most times lead to their ailments….and often their deaths….
Today, one of them Solomon Ogbeide is no more. He died while on active service. He died doing what he loves best. He died on, with and in football. He died after handling several clubs across the country….We can’t name them all….He produced quite a number of footballers who made it to the top of their careers by featuring for European clubs and also the Super Eagles.
Coach Solomon Ogbeide say us well to those who have gone where you are at the moment. Nigerian football will forever remember you and your service.
Rest in Peace coachito!!!
By Desmond Ekwueme