Nigeria’s football legend, Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi, has died at the age of 54.
Keshi passed on in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8 in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
A statement by his manager, Emmanuel Ado, confirmed the death of the former Super Eagles captain.
“With thanksgiving to God, the Ogbuenyi Fredrick Keshi family of Illah in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, announces the death of Mr Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi.
“Our son, brother, father, father-in-law, brother-in-law, has gone to be with his wife of 35 years (Nkem), Mrs Kate Keshi, who passed on 9th December 2015.
“Since her death, Keshi has been in mourning. He came back to Nigeria to be with her.
“He had planned to fly back today Wednesday, before he suffered a cardiac arrest. He has found rest.
“We thank God for his life.
“We want to ask for understanding in this very difficult time for the family,” the statement said.
Keshi’s corpse has been deposited at the Idahosa hospital in Benin City.
He is survived by four children.
Keshi, the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations, achieved a rare feat in 2013 by becoming only the second person to win the trophy both as a player and a coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt.
He started his playing career at ACB Football Club, and later played for New Nigeria Bank, Stade d’Abidjan, Africa Sports, Lokeren, Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg, and a host of other clubs around the world.
The football legend represented Nigeria from 1982, at age 20, till 1994, most of the time captaining the Super Eagles and scoring vital goals from his position as a central defender.
He also coached Togo and Nigeria at the World Cup, as well as Mali.