Famously known as “The Big Boss”, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was one Africa’s best coaches.
His death, following a cardiac arrest, Wednesday, (June, 8) at the age of 54 has created a gap in the African sporting world, it will need a person with as big a feet to fill it just as the late icon did.
Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Africa’s Iconic Coach, Stephen “The Big Boss” Keshi
- “The Big Boss” was born Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi on January 23, 1962 and was a native of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
2. Keshi began his sporting career with ACB Lagos in 1979 before moving on to New Nigerian Bank Football Club originally known as Ethiope FC, a Nigerian football team that played in Benin City and stayed with the club for 1980–1984 New Nigeria Bank 42.
3. Keshi was one of the only two soccer stars, along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player 1994 as – a captain and a coach in 2013 though he narrowly missed out on a World Cup quarter-final place the same year.
4. Apart from the Nigerian national team, Keshi coached the Togolese and Malian national teams and is the only coach to have taken the Togolese team to the World cup championship till date.
5. Keshi made 64 football appearances as a Super Eagles player and scored a total of nine goals before quitting international football for Nigeria in 1995.
6. Stephen Keshi worked as manager of the Mali national football team, after being appointed in April 2008 on a two-year deal.
7. He served as head coach for the Junior Eagles at the 2001 African Youth Championship and was very fluent in French and English.
8. On 30 June 2014, the Super Eagles lost to France in a 2014 World Cup Round of 16 match. After the match, Keshi announced his resignation as Super Eagles coach but later reversed the decision after the Nigerian Football Federation renewed his contract.
9. He is survived by four children and his mother.
10. Stephen Keshi loved his wife of 35 years Mrs Kate Keshi whom he fondly called Nkem and was devastated when she died 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.” – Stephen Keshi’s brother and aide said in a statement.