SAN FRANCISCO, July 28, (THEWILL) – The funeral rites of the late ex- Super Eagles coach and captain, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, began with a requiem mass in Benin, Edo State, on Thursday after a novelty football match.
The match, organized by the Nigeria Football Federation, the Edo State Football Association and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, where Keshi played many matches for the New Nigeria Bank FC.
Ex-Super Eagles players who featured in the match includes Mutiu Adepoju, Austin Eguavoen, Uche Okechukwu, Peter Rufai and Victor Ikepba who were all part of the Nigerian squad that lifted the African Nations Cup trophy in 1994 with Keshi as team captain.
After the match, his corpse was brought to St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin, where he worshipped with his family and friends for the funeral mass.
The presiding priest, Rev. Father Richard Ofere, said the late Keshi lived an exemplary life as a member of the parish and contributed selflessly to the development of football in Nigeria.
The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, who attended the event, described Keshi as a “super hero” who was renowned for doing the extraordinary.
“I have always described him as a super hero because he was a super hero. He did not do things that were regular, he did things that were extraordinary,” he said.
Keshi died on June 8 in Benin.
Story by David Oputah