A year ago, “big boss” Stephen Keshi died (June 7, 2016). And though we still mourn losing him, we celebrate his life and his victories with these 7 amazing facts about the sports icon.
- He started his playing career with the popular Lagos-based side, African Continental Bank Football Club (ACB) in 1979 and New Nigerian Bank (NNB) from 1980 to 1984 in Edo state.
- The ‘Big Boss’ had his breakthrough career in Belgium where he signed for Lokeren in the 1986/1987 season and immediately caught the eye of Anderlecht the following year, and he became the captain of the club after one season. In his four-year spell at the club, he won back-to-back Cup titles in 1988 and 1989 and also led his team to a league win in 1991. He led his team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League the following season which they eventually lost out to Gianluca’s Vialli-led Roma.
- Keshi blossomed in the national team playing for 14 years from 1981 to 1995 where he featured in five Nations Cup including the victorious Tunisia 94′.
- Keshi was also a successful football coach. He managed the Nigerian, Togolese and Malian national teams during his coaching career. He guided the Togolese team to their only World Cup appearance till date and won the African Nation’s Cup with Nigeria in 2013.
- Keshi was one of only two soccer stars, along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach.
- His wife of many years, Kate died on December 9, 2015, after losing a long battle with cancer.
- Keshi is survived by four children and his mother.