Discuss The Origin And Development Of Professional Football In Nigeria Fallen Heroes in the Annals of Nigeria Football History

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Fallen Heroes in the Annals of Nigeria Football History

Professional football as a competitive sport has had its fair share of tragedies over the years. This is both fun and dangerous, especially on the playground. The Nigerian sports family witnessed its worst football tragedy on December 23, 2008, when nine female amateur footballers and two coaches were burnt beyond recognition in an auto accident while traveling through Jos, Plateau State.

The tears of grief had hardly dried when on January 26, 2009, 15 members of FC Jimeta, an amateur side in Adamawa State, Nigeria, died in another auto accident. Of the dead, 12 were players, while the remaining three were coaches. .

The tragedy that occurred on 26 January 2009 was cut short when another devastating incident took place on 21 February 2009. In a single blow, 13 football supporters of the Nigeria Premier League’s Ocean Boys FC of Yenagoa were killed by suspected assailants. Be a cultist, on his way to attend a Premier League match involving his team and Bayelsa United at the Ugeli Township Stadium in Delta State, Nigeria.

Nigerian footballers have also had their share of tragedies on and off the field of play. Below is a list of some of the players who defied all odds to delight football loving Nigerians but later succumbed to the cold hand of death.

  • Samuel Okwaraji

Nigeria’s enterprising midfielder Samuel Tochukwuma Okwaraji collapsed and died on 12 August 1989 during a World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola. He died of a heart-related ailment.

  • Amir Angwe

On 29 October 1995, Amir Angwe died on the field while playing for Julius Berger FC. He was later found to have died of a heart attack.

  • George Ignewari

The younger brother of former Nigerian international- George Finidi was shot dead by rival supporters in 1995 during an FA Cup match between his club- Rangers FC and Stationery Stores of Lagos.

  • Tunde charity

He was a member of the Flying Eagles team that participated in the 1989 U-20 World Championship in Saudi Arabia. In 1997, he died of a head injury while playing for Bendel Insurance FC in a league match.

  • Boniface Danjuma

The Plateau United player died on August 12, 2006 after collapsing and 13 minutes into the second half of his team’s match against city rivals JUTH of Jos at the Nasarawa Stadium, Keffi.

  • Orobosa adun

He was the first choice goalkeeper for Warri Wolves FC of Warri Delta State. He collapsed and died during training on May 26, 2009 as he sustained injuries when he was attacked by thugs of the International Rangers from Enugu.

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