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Notable moments of Stephen Keshi’s career

Former Nigeria’s Super Eagles player and coach, Stephen Keshi, died on Wednesday, 8 June. Keshi had a successful football career. He was one of two African coaches to win the AFCON competition as a player and as a coach, and the only black African to do so. As the world continues to pay tribute to the football legend, here are some highlights, in texts and pictures, from his remarkable career.

Super Eagles player and coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has passed away. Keshi suffered cardiac arrest in his home in Benin City, Edo State, where he was vacationing. He died while being rushed to the hospital. Keshi (31 January 1961 – 8 June 2016), was born in Bauchi State, Nigeria though his family hails from Delta State. His death is untimely and even more tragic coming just six months after his wife, Kate, died after a battle with from cancer. As Nigeria and the rest of Africa mourn the loss of one of its greatest football stars, we look at some highlights of his career as a player and a coach.

Former Super Eagles players (L-R), Peter Rufai, Sunday Oliseh and Stephen Keshi. Photo: nigeriadailynews.news
Former Super Eagles players (L-R), Peter Rufai, Sunday Oliseh and Stephen Keshi. Photo: nigeriadailynews.news

Keshi played for several European clubs including Anderlecht, Belgium, where he won two Belgian Cups. He also won the Tunisia’94 AFCON competition as a Super Eagles player. In his incarnation as coach, he had an on-again off-again relationship with the Super Eagles but would be remembered for leading the team to another AFCON trophy in 2013, making him one of two African coaches (Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary is the other) to achieve this feat. And the only black coach to do so.

Keshi with old and current Super Eagles players after winning the AFCON CUP in 2013. Photo: punchng.com
Keshi with old and current Super Eagles players after winning the AFCON CUP in 2013. Photo: punchng.com

Besides Nigeria, Keshi had a successful career as coach of the Togolese national football team, helping them qualify for their first World Cup tournament in 2006. He also had a stint as coach of the Malian National football team.

His achievements with Nigeria and Togo, Keshi is the only African coach to lead two African countries to qualify for the World Cup finals.

Keshi being decorated by former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan. Photo: thenationonlineng.net
Keshi being decorated by former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan. Photo: thenationonlineng.net

Since news of his broke, tributes have continued to pour in from all over the world.  He is survived by four children. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Keshi.

Keshi at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Photo: HUY HỚN HỞ/Flickr
Keshi at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Photo: HUY HỚN HỞ/Flickr

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