Former Nigeria international, Benedict Akwuegbu, has exclusively told Completesports.com that his motive for organising the ‘Ben Akwuegbu Unity Cup Tournament and Plateau Legends Reunion Match was out of his desire to give back to the society and aide football development and revival by bringing back together those famous players who made the game tick during the glorious era of football in the country.
“In those days, our stadiums, especially here in Jos were always filled to capacity whenever Plateau United, Mighty Jets, JIB Rocks were to play,” Akwuegbu who is called ‘Austria Bomber’ told completesports.com.
“It used to be something more than a local derby match, El Classico, or whatever. Then, you talk about Rangers versus IICC Shooting Stars; Rangers versus Plateau United; Rangers versus Mighty Jets or Rangers versus Bendel Insurance or Raccah Rovers.
“That was an era when the fans go out there to identify not only with their darling clubs, but more so to watch and cheer their idols display their extraordinary skills.
“Those were the days of golden era for Nigerian football. Those were the days our football commanded extraordinary acceptance and followership, and this is what I want to do, bring back such memories and replicate such electrifying moments at our stadiums by bringing those ‘Legends’ together so that the younger generation of footballers and fans will see them play again and learn from them,” Akwuegbu said.
On March 22, Akwuegbu test-ran his pivotal project inside the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos, with the Legends of Plateau United versus Legends of Mighty Jets clash. There was also the Akwuegbu Unity Cup for the local governments of the state which Jos local government won after a 3-0 defeat of Bokkos Local Lovernment Area
Plateau United Legends had NFF Technical Director, Bitrus Bewarang as coach while Mighty Jets Legend had Ben Duamlong as coach.
Plateau United, which also paraded Super Eagles Coordinator, Patrick Pascal MON, won 3-2 with Sambo Choji scoring a brace.
A look at Plateau United Legends on the night reveals superstars who made the game entertaining not only at the club, but at the national team level as well as in Europe.
Garaba Okala (goalkeeper), midfielder Sam Pam junior, Victor Wilkadson, Pascal Patrick, Sani Adamu (captain), Patrick Mancha, Tony Ogharandukwu, Salisu Nakande, Sambo Choji, Danjuma Isandu and Balele Nakande were all on duty for Plateau United Legends and those their dazzling qualities which made them famous were not in short supply on the night despite obvious age disadvantage .
Similarly, Mighty Jets Legends put on show such players as Sylvester Ekoja (captain), Fatai Yekini, Ben Akwuegbu, Kelechi Okoye, Bature Saleh, Thomas Ekoja, Emeka Richard, Shehu Laka, Ado Ubanta an Abbas Jimoh.
Akwuegbu extols the contributions of Plateau State Commissioner for Sports Victor Lapang, the State’s Director of Sports, Simon Moven and FA Chairman, Sunday Langbap for the success of the inaugural tournament and reveals plans to expand the tournament for the second edition.
“We are overwhelmed by the huge support we received from the Plateau State Sports Commissioner, the Director of Sports and FA Chairman,” Akwuegbu said.
“We are also indebted to NFF Technical Director, Bitrus Bewarang, Coach Ben Duamlong and Ismaila Mabo.
“We are already planning ahead for the second edition which hopefully will take place in October or November this year.
“Besides, we are working on increasing the number of participating Legends’ teams to include others from Jos, like JIB Rocks, JUTH or even JC Raiders,” he concluded.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.