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Encomiums as Okowa pays tribute to Keshi in Asaba

By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha
FORMER Super Eagles captain and coach, Mr. Stephen Keshi was yesterday laid in state at the Stephen Keshi Township Stadium amidst tributes and encomiums.

A wreath and a portrait of former Nigerian football coach Stephen Keshi are seen during a farewell ceremony at the Ogbe Stadium, in Benin City, on July 28, 2016.  Nigerian football legend Stephen Keshi, who died aged 54, was a Cup of Nations winner as a player and coach. Supporters and international football players gathered to bid farewell, at the Ogbe Stadium, in Benin, on the eve of his funeral in his hometown Illah. AFP PHOTO
A wreath and a portrait of former Nigerian football coach Stephen Keshi are seen during a farewell ceremony at the Ogbe Stadium, in Benin City, on July 28, 2016.
Nigerian football legend Stephen Keshi, who died aged 54, was a Cup of Nations winner as a player and coach. Supporters and international football players gathered to bid farewell, at the Ogbe Stadium, in Benin, on the eve of his funeral in his hometown Illah. AFP PHOTO

The casket conveying the remains of Keshi arrived the stadium from Benin City, Edo State at about 4.21pm, accompanied by some of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winning team mates.

The funeral rites had begun in Benin City with funeral mass, lying-in-state and novelty football match.

Amongst dignitaries present at the  ceremony were Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who was represented by his deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, members of the state executive council and members of the State House of Assembly.

Keshi’s former team mates present were Austin Eguavoen, Peter Rufai, Uche Okechukwu, Alloy Agu, Mutiu Adepoju, Ben Iroha, among others.

Governor Okowa who read the contributions of the late Keshi to the development of football in the country, said the sports-loving people of the state can never forget him.

“We miss you. The lovers of football will miss you. Nigeria and Africa will miss you. The football world will miss you. Farewell the “Big Boss, “ he said

 


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