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Football icon Stephen Keshi dies suddenly at 54

Football icon Stephen Keshi dies suddenly at 54
June 08
02:47 2016

Nigerian football icon Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi died suddenly late Tuesday night in Benin City, Edo state, TheCable understands.

He was scheduled to return to the United States on Wednesday evening before he suffered cardiac arrest.

The former international football player and coach had lost his wife of 35 years, Kate, last year after a prolonged battle with cancer.

TheCable confirmed his death from a member of his family as well as one of his close associates.


“He was not ill at all, never showed any signs of  illness, but we suspect he never got over the death of his wife,” a friend said.

He is survived by four children and his mother.

Keshi, the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations, achieved a rare feat in 2013 by becoming only the second person to win the trophy both as a player and a coach.


The only other person to have achieved the feat is Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary.

Keshi, a product of St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Lagos, started his playing career at a very young age at ACB Football Club, and later played for New Nigeria Bank, Stade d’Abidjan, Africa Sports, Lokeren, Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg, and a host of other clubs.

He represented Nigeria from 1982, at age 20, till 1994, most of the time captaining the Super Eagles and scoring vital goals from his position as a central defender.

He also coached Togo and Nigeria at the World Cup, as well as Mali.


Keshi, nicknamed the “Big Boss” for his leadership skills, is the fifth member of the all-conquering 1994 team to die, following Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Rashidi Yekini and Wilfred Agbonavbare.

‘He has found rest’

Meanwhile, the family has released a statement announcing his death.

The statement signed by Emmanuel Ado was titled: “Stephen Keshi CON has gone to be with his wife”.

“With thanksgiving to God, the Ogbuenyi Fredrick Keshi family of Illah in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, announces the death of Mr. Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi,” Ado wrote.


“Our son, brother, father, father-in-law,brother-in-law, has gone to be with his wife of 35 years (Nkem), Mrs. Kate Keshi, who passed on on the 9th December 2015.

“Since her death, Keshi has been in mourning. He came back to Nigeria to be with her. He had planned to fly back today Wednesday, before he suffered a cardiac arrest. He has found rest.


“We thank God for his life.

“We want to ask for understanding in this very difficult time for the family.”



  1. GOK
    GOK June 08, 03:37

    Your comment..So, so sad

    Reply to this comment
    • Iheanyi
      Iheanyi June 08, 08:22

      The big boss, I will always remember u in ur No 4 shirt staring for Nigeria in crucial games. We shall keep fund memories of ur labours for Nigeria. Farewell nd rest in peace

      Reply to this comment
      ANDRAIN June 08, 10:47

      May His soul rest in peace….He was an ICON in the game of football……..gudnite BOSS

      Reply to this comment
  2. dems
    dems June 08, 04:04

    Soo sad! May God grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss

    Reply to this comment
  3. Walexitto
    Walexitto June 08, 04:47

    The big Boss is gone, and we are left with the history of his indelible mark. The world will miss you, Africa will miss you and Nigerians will miss you most. Farewell Stephen Okechukwu Keshi

    Reply to this comment
  4. Ambrose O.
    Ambrose O. June 08, 04:55

    Your comment..May God Almighty grant him eternal rest. Amen. RIP Keshi. Ambrose.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Karabzen
    Karabzen June 08, 05:04

    Rest in peace coach. May God bless your family

    Reply to this comment
  6. olu vic
    olu vic June 08, 05:05

    May his soul rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  7. Mveli
    Mveli June 08, 05:16

    May your soul rest in peace Mr. Keshi

    Reply to this comment
  8. Boroja
    Boroja June 08, 05:17

    What a way to leave the stage.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Adeyinka Hassan
    Adeyinka Hassan June 08, 05:22

    OMG! May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace

    Reply to this comment
  10. Adetola
    Adetola June 08, 05:24

    So sad! It is strange I imagined him just few days ago coaching another team to the World cup. But this ll never be!
    May his soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  11. aphiwe nduna
    aphiwe nduna June 08, 05:41

    Your comment.. I don’t believe this…how…where…when….why….I was hoping more productive work from him

    Reply to this comment
  12. ClintonKush
    ClintonKush June 08, 05:41

    RIP Legend

    Reply to this comment
  13. Benchris
    Benchris June 08, 05:45

    what a loss! ..Rip to the big boss, we love ????, we’ll miss u. may God give the family grace to bear it.

    Reply to this comment
  14. blossom
    blossom June 08, 06:02

    May the souls of the diseased rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus christ,we will miss u, a rare gem

    Reply to this comment
  15. Ghalua
    Ghalua June 08, 06:04

    Rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  16. Gabrii
    Gabrii June 08, 06:06

    So sad, oh Big Boss, my your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Fmj Mu'meen
    Fmj Mu'meen June 08, 06:08

    Rest in peace Big Boss, may the Lord grant you eternal rest. The Nigerian nation will miss, you left a foot print to tow by the younger generation .

    Reply to this comment
    • ambassador
      ambassador June 08, 17:04

      All these death here and there is an indication that everybody should prepare. Death is the prize everybody must pay, inevitable, it may come at anytime, to anybody.
      To christian, death is the door to eternal life. Are you prepared?

      Reply to this comment
  18. Erikan
    Erikan June 08, 06:14

    Sad! May his soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  19. emldajane
    emldajane June 08, 06:17

    a very sad day for Nigerians, he was a great man.May he rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  20. mustyano
    mustyano June 08, 06:17

    Omg, may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace… Good bye one of the Super eagle players and coaches.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Hugo Seal
    Hugo Seal June 08, 06:19

    Very Sad news. May God give his family the strength to bear the loss!!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Amuludun
    Amuludun June 08, 06:20

    Your comment..Big Boss is gone. His contributions to soccer in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large will forever linger in our hearts. We love you so much esp for your doggedness but God loves you best. RIP.
    Government must immortalize him and take good care of the orphans he left behind.

    Reply to this comment
  23. t masango
    t masango June 08, 06:22

    may your soul rest in eternal will solely be missed Big Boss!!

    Reply to this comment
  24. 3oOlufunmilola
    3oOlufunmilola June 08, 06:25

    May His soul rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  25. Hamzeebaba
    Hamzeebaba June 08, 06:28

    Rest in perfect peace(Amen)!!!
    Big boss

    Reply to this comment
  26. Thobzn
    Thobzn June 08, 06:31

    R.I.P Keshi may God be with your family

    Reply to this comment
  27. Hotstix
    Hotstix June 08, 06:40

    Stephen Keshi,from where I live,we watched how your passion for developing young players thrive,Thank you for contributing to Africa,our Bro, go ye forth be with your departed wife

    Reply to this comment
  28. Zee
    Zee June 08, 06:41

    Your comment..may his soul rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  29. Yinka.
    Yinka. June 08, 06:47

    Rest in peace The Boss.

    Reply to this comment
  30. Frankie
    Frankie June 08, 06:48

    May his soul find rest in the blossom of the lord

    Reply to this comment
  31. Miss Twinkle
    Miss Twinkle June 08, 06:51

    Rest in Peace, May God grant ur soul Eternal Rest. Amen.

    Reply to this comment
  32. Gabby Sholly
    Gabby Sholly June 08, 06:54

    So sad to hear this…RIP Keshi.

    Reply to this comment
  33. Ekwueme
    Ekwueme June 08, 06:58

    Rest in peace, Boss. we miss u.

    Reply to this comment
  34. Dibia
    Dibia June 08, 07:03

    What a great loss to the family and to Nigeria. May God grant us all the fortitude to bear this loss. Great lesson for the living too

    Reply to this comment
  35. Dmj
    Dmj June 08, 07:08

    May the good lord grant him eternal rest

    Reply to this comment
  36. smiling face
    smiling face June 08, 07:19

    This is a great loss, I pray for family mostly the children the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

    Reply to this comment
  37. Henski
    Henski June 08, 07:22

    So sorry. RIP Keshi.

    Reply to this comment
  38. Alolnugo
    Alolnugo June 08, 07:26

    May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace Amen

    Reply to this comment
  39. OMAsiq
    OMAsiq June 08, 07:28

    Rest in Peace oh Keshi.
    You are indelibly in our minds.

    Reply to this comment
  40. Lungile Bhakajuju Wale-Pirates
    Lungile Bhakajuju Wale-Pirates June 08, 07:32

    May his soul rest in peace….My deepest condolences to his family

    Reply to this comment
  41. brian usanga
    brian usanga June 08, 07:50

    Your comment..may his soul rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  42. Barry
    Barry June 08, 07:58

    Adieu Steve
    You came, you saw and you conquered
    May His mercy abound in you
    RIP Keshi

    Reply to this comment
  43. Paloka
    Paloka June 08, 08:02

    RIP the Boss

    Reply to this comment
  44. Gbenga Oladunjoye
    Gbenga Oladunjoye June 08, 08:03

    Whao… It was a shocking and devastating news to hear that Big Boss is dead what a loss it would be for a great nation of ours. You’re gone now but your work still speaks forever. GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL AS YOU DEPARTS THIS EARTH.

    Reply to this comment
  45. Bosca
    Bosca June 08, 08:04

    Big boss Keshi. May ur gentle soul and many other departed, rest in peace. Amen

    Reply to this comment
  46. yusufabulmumin
    yusufabulmumin June 08, 08:24

    Your comment..RIP big boss

    Reply to this comment
  47. kk
    kk June 08, 08:25

    oh keshi, I can’t imaging this. why like this, come back

    Reply to this comment
  48. Anxiety
    Anxiety June 08, 08:32

    This ugly news i received with a rude shock. What an irreparable lost of a rear gem “Big Boss” your sudden demise will indelibly remain a big scare in our bleeding hearts, farewell Coach Stephen Kashi. May your Gentle Soul Rest in Perfect Peace. I’ll miss you Coach

    Reply to this comment
  49. Vico
    Vico June 08, 08:35


    Reply to this comment
  50. Ambrose Don Chuks
    Ambrose Don Chuks June 08, 09:09

    We will miss you so much but what can we do God knows the best. Rest in peace my Big Boss.

    Reply to this comment
  51. Augustus
    Augustus June 08, 09:18

    May his soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  52. M16
    M16 June 08, 09:19

    Oh my God! Why now. Big Boss u have never completed your job, u haven’t coach my bros na. Please rest in peace so painful. We Nigerian love u but God loves u more.

    Reply to this comment
  53. Billy
    Billy June 08, 09:37

    OMG. We lost another legend in one week after the “The Greatest” Mohammed Ali. RIP Great Nigerian coach and ambassador. Adieu.

    Reply to this comment
  54. Powerful
    Powerful June 08, 09:46

    May the rest in peace Amen.

    Reply to this comment
  55. Joybukati
    Joybukati June 08, 09:46

    The Great Icon Of Our Own Time Has Gone To Be With The Lord, May Your Gentle Soul Rest In Perfect Peace Amen.

    Reply to this comment
  56. steve
    steve June 08, 10:00

    I can’t believe this , have thos news been varified because we can’t trust online news outlets these days !! , I can’t believe this .The best Nigerian coach and the most productive captain ever !!..May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace !!

    Reply to this comment
    KOLINSTAR June 08, 10:26


    Reply to this comment
  58. Nwokeji Ifeanyi
    Nwokeji Ifeanyi June 08, 10:30

    I cannot withhold these tears, it really happened like a flash of light in the night, how a great son of the soil in deeds and origin passed on just like that. Yes “death” is a horse which everyone alive will ride upon some day, but he died a boy, “Unto man is one hundred and twenty years on the earth (Gen: 6:3)” (emphasis mine). He was one that believed in the total Nigerianity of this entity called Nigeria because he believed that Nigeria gave him so much and he very well paid back in his arts of severe patriotism.

    What a way to love, love that transcends self, a day to “Her”(his wife’s) 6th month memorial, the pains of her demise could still not leave his heart. My brother Okey “the Big Boss”, you were such a blessed example to all Nigerians, you imparted positively on all that knows and heard about you. Football have been bereaved today the worldwide. We will all miss you greatly. Sleep on Okey. Your children is already with the grace to bear the earliest abandonment in the hands of the cruel death, of their mum and dad. It is soo well. Amen

    Reply to this comment
  59. Looksie
    Looksie June 08, 10:41

    RIP our Legend!!!

    Reply to this comment
  60. pope francis
    pope francis June 08, 10:46

    Your comment..what a glorious way to leave the stage. big boss you indeed left an indelible mark on the soil of nigeria football community. Good night.

    Reply to this comment
  61. Mikky O.
    Mikky O. June 08, 11:12

    What a sad news! Keshi u wonderful achievement in sports arena will always be remembered.

    Reply to this comment
  62. jenny
    jenny June 08, 11:29

    Your comment.. Sleep on great man till the glorious morning when we all shall meet to part no more…. Adiue

    Reply to this comment
  63. Master
    Master June 08, 11:38

    Rest in peace big boss.

    Reply to this comment
  64. Master
    Master June 08, 11:41

    Rest in peace big boss.u have been the best good bye

    Reply to this comment
  65. temi
    temi June 08, 13:25

    Gone 2 soon….died at 54….may his gently soul rest in peace…farewell big boss.

    Reply to this comment
  66. VictorBee
    VictorBee June 08, 14:02

    Rest in peace Big Boss!

    Reply to this comment
  67. Larry
    Larry June 08, 14:15

    What a sad news! We will miss him. May his soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  68. lauretta owor
    lauretta owor June 08, 14:16

    Big Boss, may your gentle soul rest in the bosom of the Lord

    Reply to this comment
  69. Ifeluveth
    Ifeluveth June 08, 14:37

    Your comment.. Hmmmmm so sad to had about your death Stephen, we love you but GOD love you most…. RIP KESHI till we part no mere

    Reply to this comment
  70. Pete o
    Pete o June 09, 04:02

    Why KESHI? It would have been better if it was the Fulani cattle (Buhari). The fool is going abroad for ear infection. If there are adequate medical facilities around the people’s coach may not have died. Hey guys the Fulani cattle don’t think about giving Nigeria adequate medical facilities but he can run abroad for ear infection.

    Reply to this comment
  71. Rsquares
    Rsquares June 09, 04:30

    We love you but, God love you more. May your soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  72. Okenwa
    Okenwa June 10, 04:23

    Though that the gift was your, but you shared it for the happiness and joy of many globally. May your gentle soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  73. Jamaica
    Jamaica June 14, 13:03

    rest in peace gallant sodier of football….i will forever remember you for resolutely manning the super eagles defence in the 1994 afcon final against my mother Zambia national soccer team chipolopolo

    Reply to this comment

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