Former Super Eagles Coach, Christian Chukwu, has described late Kelechi Emeteole, also a former Super Sand Eagles coach, an “an image of everything football.”
Newsmen report that Emeteole died in the early hours of Wednesday in a New Delhi hospital in India, where he was receiving treatment for throat cancer. Emeteole was aged 66.
Chukwu, who spoke with newsmen on Thursday in Enugu, said it was unfortunate for the former coach to depart for the great beyond when his wealth of experience was still needed.
He added that “I am yet to recover from the shocking news of Emeteole’s death yesterday.
“I am personally saddened with the development. Emeteole lived on and for football.
“He was an epitome of everything football, who passionately love the game and gave his best and time to see it grow.
“A good team player and one that understand the need for team-work, and to maintain a united team while as a player in the national team and in all the club sides he had handled.
Chukwu and Emetole were former team mates in the then Green Eagles under the tutelage of late Yugoslavian coach, Tihomir “Tiko” Jelisavčić popularly known as “Father Tiko’’
He was also a member of the bronze winning squad at the 10th African Cup of Nations in Ethiopia in 1976.
Emeteole won 17 caps for the national team between 1975 to 1977 and scored four goals.
Popularly known as “Caterpillar’’, Emeteole played alongside Idowu Otubusen, Samuel Ojebode, Zion Ogunfehinmi, Kunle Awesu, Muda Lawal, Joe Erico and others too numerous to mention.
He also plied his trade with Rangers International FC of Enugu at the height of the club’s reign in Nigeria and the African continent.
For his coaching career, Emeteole later served as an assistant coach of the Super Eagles.
Between 2007 and 2009, he was the Head Coach of the beach soccer national team, now known as the Super Sand Eagles.
Emetiole also had coaching stints with notable clubs like: Spartan FC later known as Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri, El-Kanemi of Maiduguri, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, and International FC and Rangers International of Enugu.
He led Iwuanyanwu Nationale to the final of CAF Champions League in 2009.