The Nigeria Football Federation has paid glowing tribute to ex-Super Eagles midfielder, Samuel Okwaraji
who died on this day 30 years ago while playing for Nigeria.
He collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match
against Angola at the Lagos National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State on 12 August 1989.
“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,” read a Tweet on NFF’s Twitter handle.
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 learned 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.
He made the Green Eagles squad in 1988 and at that year’s African Nations Cup he scored one of the fastest goals in the history of the championship against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. He played along until the final match, where the Eagles lost to their perennial rivals Cameroon by a lone goal.
He was honoured with a Google Doodle on May 19 which would have been his 55th birthday.