Wednesday, June 8, 2016 8:13 pm
The Chairman of Edo State Football Association, Mr. Frank Ilaboya, has described the death of former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, as shocking and devastating to the entire football community in Nigeria.
Ilaboya who spoke with journalists at the Faith Mediplex, where the late footballer was confirmed dead last night, disclosed that he first received the news about Keshi through a phone call from a coach and friend of Keshi, Dr. Terry Eguaoje, who is based in the US in the early hours of Wednesday.
He said: “It was so devastating. At about 2am today (Wednesday) a got a call from a US based coach, Dr. Terry Eguaoje, that I should confirm what was happening to Keshi.
“At that time, I didn’t know what was happening; I was shocked. So, I quickly established contact with the in-law, Richard Aburimen , who told me that it was true and I was shocked.
“He said that he (Keshi) was having a leg pain, they needed to do the massage. At a point, he said that the eyes were turning and by the time they took him to the hospital, he was dead before he got to the hospital.
“To the best of my knowledge, I never knew that he was sick; that was why I said that it was so shocking. I know that he used to have this leg pain, maybe because of playing days. But that is all I know.
He also said that his loss had created a huge vacuum in the entire football community in Nigeria.
“Keshi is someone that we all love, we all know as the ‘Big Boss’. He is one player and coach that is respected and will be missed.
“He was very unique. As a captain, he was very exceptional. As a coach, he was the only one that has won the Nations Cup as a player and as a coach. It is a big vacuum in Nigeria, Delta and Edo States.
“It is a vacuum in the football community. We thought that he was going to do more and more for Nigeria. But today, we cannot question God. What do we do? We pray that his soul rests in perfect peace.”