June 20, 2009

The story of Bayelsa captain

By Richard Animam
If there was anything   officials and players of  Bayelsa United wanted badly this season, that thing was to lift the Globacom Premier League trophy. Last Sunday at the Oleh Township Stadium in Delta State, that dream came alive as Bayelsa United for the first time in the history of the club emerged champions of the Premier league and with it came a ticket to represent Nigeria at the prestigious CAF Champions League and a huge celebration.

•GLO LEAGUE:  Bayelsa United Osadebawen Okoro 'left' and Warri Wolves Ifeanyi Okoye

•GLO LEAGUE: Bayelsa United Osadebawen Okoro 'left' and Warri Wolves Ifeanyi Okoye

The drums of victory were rolled out and the Oleh pitch was turned into one big dancing floor. The celebration was indeed massive  as supporters of the club, Bayelsa indigenes, officials and players danced like never before.
History has been  made and the team led by coach Monday Odigie are Nigerian champions.

The chairman spoke loftily of his team and the desire to fly Nigeria’s flag in the continent. The players were equally excited about the prospect of playing in the continent. Super Eagles fringe player Chibuzor Okonkwo spoke of his dreams and how happy he was  helping the team to actulaize its dream. After the presentation which was hurriedly done to give way to the celebration, the party train moved to Oghara, Delta State (training base for Bayelsa United).

In Oghara, everyone knew something big had happened as the players and  supporters sang and danced but no one knew death was lurking for the captain of the team Abiel  Tabor. Tabor whose family resides in Warri, decided to go to Warri after the celebration in company of his brother and some friends and they ran into a gang of robbers and was shot point blank. According to club sources, the player died on the spot.

The management of Warri Wolves say they sympathizes  with Bayelsa United players and officials over the dead of Tabor. General Manager of the team, Mike Idoko say it is a sad thing to lose a player like Tabor or any player for that matter.

“We mourn with Bayelsa United. We are in pains as well. When we lost Orobosa, they were in Benin with us where the burial took place. Its a pity they had to lose a fine young man and a wonderful player in Tabor’, Idoko said.