Remembering Samuel Okwaraji 30 years After Death

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of former Super Eagles midfielder, Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji.

Okwaraji slumped and died on the pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on the 12th of August, 1989.

It was during the World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Palancas Negras of Angola.

Nigeria won the match 1-0, but the news of Okwaraji’s death, who had earlier slumped in the 77th minute, overshadowed the victory.

At the time, Okwaraji was arguably Nigeria’s best player, on and off the feild, most especially considering his patriotism in answering national calls, even when some of his other colleagues always wanted money before coming for Eagles matches.

Okwaraji was based in Belgium, and had just signed a new contract in Germany before the unfortunate incident.

Bisi Ogunleye


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