The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday paid glowing tributes to former Nigeria player and coach, Paul Hamilton, who passed on same day in Lagos after a protracted illness.

Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton

Sanusi Mohammed, the NFF General Secretary, said: “We are in terrible shock at the news of his death.

“Hamilton was a perfect gentleman in the real sense of the word, in spite of being a former international player for Nigeria and a Chief Coach of the senior national team.

“He worked very hard and with his whole heart for Nigeria in all spheres, as a player, a coach and as an administrator. The Nigeria football family will miss him dearly.’’

Hamilton died in the early hours of Thursday in Lagos.

He was said to have been diagnosed of heart and kidney related health issues some months ago, and had his right leg amputated early this year.

Hamilton played for the senior national team in the 1960s and early 1970s, including featuring in the football tournament at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

Nicknamed ‘Wonderboy’ for his delicate skills and on-field wizardry, Hamilton was at a few times head coach of the senior national team.

He took the reins for the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying series, before Dutchman Clemens Westerhorf took over with only the last match of the campaign left in the series.

The last match in the campaign was away to Cameroon in Yaounde.

He was also head coach of the Nigeria under-20 squad which took the bronze medal at the 1985 FIFA World Youth Championship, now FIFA U-20 World Cup, in the Soviet Union.

‘Wonderboy’ was also the first head coach of the senior women national team, Super Falcons, and steered the team to the 1991 and 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup final competitions.

He was also at different times Head of Technical Department and Head of Lagos Liaison Office of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA).

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