Ex-Eagles coach Stephen Keshi passes on

Ex-Eagles coach Stephen Keshi passes on

Former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi died early Wednesday in Benin City of a suspected heart attack.

A family member and also a close associate confirmed Keshi, 54, died suddenly.

“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.

Last year, he lost his wife of 33 years Kate after a prolonged battle with cancer.

In 2013, Keshi became only the second man to captain and then coach his country’s team to win the Africa Cup of Nations.

He qualified the Super Eagles to the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

He also qualified Togo to the 2006 World Cup and was in charge of Mali.

‘Big Boss’, as he was fondly nicknamed because of his charisma and leadership drive, sparked off an exodus of Nigerian players to Belgium in 1985, when he joined top club Anderlecht.

A commanding central defender, he also played for Strasbourg in France, Stade Abidjan as well as in Malaysia

He was lately linked with a coaching post in South Africa with Orlando Pirates among the clubs reported to be interested in hiring him.