Keshi laid to rest in Nigeria as mourners pay their last respects

Stephen Keshi laid to rest

Stephen Keshi was laid to rest at his home in Nigeria’s Delta State.

Stephen Keshi, the former Nigeria captain and manager, was buried on Friday in his country house at Ilah, in Nigeria’s Delta State.

Keshi won the Africa Cup of Nations as both captain (in 1994) and manager of the Super Eagles (in 2013).

The man affectionately known as ‘Big Boss’ was twice voted as Africa’s top coach, by the Confederation of African Football (Caf), in 2005 and 2013.

He died of sudden medical complications in his home in Benin City in June.

A huge personality in the continental game, playing in five Africa Cup of Nations finals (1982, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994), the former Anderlecht, Strasbourg and RWD Molenbeek central defender, had also managed Togo – earning them a 2006 World Cup place – and Mali, before taking up the Nigeria job in 2011.

“I can’t believe that Stephen is gone,” said Uche Okechukwu, the former Brondby and Fenerbahce central defender, who played with Keshi in the Super Eagles in the 1990s.

“I was to have called him a few days before he passed. But I forgot.

“Days later, my brother banged on my door one early morning and told me to check my Facebook page, as he clearly did not know how to break the new to me.

“It was a very big shock. It still is a very big shock,” Okechukwu said.