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Okwaraji – 30th Year Memorial: NFF Pays Tribute To Late Super Eagles Legend

Okwaraji – 30th Year Memorial: NFF Pays Tribute To Late Super Eagles Legend

The Nigeria Football Federation has paid glowing tribute to the late Super Eagles midfielder, Samuel Okwaraji, on the 30th anniversary of his death, Completesports.com reports.

Okwaraji collapsed and died of congestive failure on August 12, 1989 during – a 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures against the Palacans Negras of Angloa at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

“It’s been 30 years since this real and true Nigerian Patriot passed on while on duty for the country. Keep resting in peace, Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji,” reads a Tweet on NFF’s Twitter handle.


Zenith Ziva

The NFF also shared a video in memory of the late Okwaraji with a short message by the president of the body, Amaju Melvin Pinnick.

“We still feel and respect the labours of our heroes past, and we want to say today, being the 30th year that Late Okwaraji passed on while playing, we still feel the sacrifice and patriotism that he showed, playing for this great country. And we have learnt great lessons from that patriot, even as we continue to use his attitude to guide young talents.”

Okwaraji was capped eight times by Nigeria and scored once.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Obozuwa 2 years ago

    May your gentle soul rest in peace brother.

    Times are changing so is technology, but the NFF are not doing enough to make sure such don’t happen again, even when you check players fitness before a match, there are possibilities changes may occur in the body’s chemistry, especially when there is concussion as a result of injuries during match or fatigue. That is why we now see players wearing microchips to monitor their health during matches. Apart from South Africa, I am yet to see another African team doing such.

  • A true legend . A true patriot. Just THE TRUE CHARACTER PERSONALITY THAT EVERY NIGERIAN SHOULD EMULATE BEFORE ANY MEANINGFUL CHANGE CAN HAPPEN IN NIGERIA. Seeing this pic just makes it feel like it happened yesterday. A proper midfield maestro; took d national team by storm, can’t forget that equalising goal against Cameroun. I KNOW YOU LIVE FOREVER IN THE REALMS OF ETERNITY COS SELFLESS SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AN EXPRESSION OF LIVING SOUL WHILE GREEDY SOULS ARE DEAD THOUGH WALKING. Your Soul, SAMUEL OKWARAJI, Shall forever remain in the Bossom of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    A good footballer, he was also highly educated, acquiring a MASTERS DEGREE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW from the University of Rome, while he played for AS Roma. An example for young players who think getting an education is not necessary. The GOOGLE DOODLE that came up in his honor recently related that at one time, Okwaraji confronted the German club that had him on their books FOR CHARGING THE NFA FOR LOST REVENUES WHILE HE PLAYED FOR NIGERIA. Reminding the club that he was a lawyer, he declared that he was going to play for Nigeria at the world cup in Italy whether they like it or not! What a courageous lad! How many of us can stand up to our employers like that? Especially at a time when the NFA was notorious for using and dumping players, without providing adequate health care, insurance or other necessities! That he even cared enough to want to save the NFA some money showed his attitude and mindset. Always among the first to report to camp when invited, his dedication, commitment and selflessness was incredible to behold. Gone too soon.

  • Completesports, please check your records. Our dear Samuel Okwaraji certainly had more than 8 caps for Nigeria. I can count at least 11 Caps – Olympics Qualifier return leg against Algeria in January 1988 in Enugu (Olympics football was not an age grade tournament then – full national squads played in the Olympics), 5 Maroc ‘88 AFCON Matches against Kenya, Cameroon (group stage and tournament final), Egypt and Algeria, 3 Seoul ‘88 Olympics Tournament Matches against Brazil, Yugoslavia and Australia, 2 Italia ‘90 qualifiers against Gabon (home leg in Enugu), and Angola (the game that he made the ultimate sacrifice at the National Stadium, Lagos.
    This is not including the tune up (friendly matches) played by the Super Eagles before the Maroc 88 AFCON and the Seoul Olympics.
    He was such a skilful, hardworking, committed and patriotic player. May his blessed soul continue to rest in peace. Amen!

  • CreekBoi 2 years ago

    Rest well Sir…… Wait o no be Uzoho be dat?