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Yekini death stuns Nigeria

RashidI Yekini death stuns Nigeria

Posted: 5 May 2012 Time: 9:18 am

Nigeria was on Friday left stunned by news of the death of former national team striker Rashidi Yekini.

The 48-year-old passed away at his family home in Ira, Kwara State after months of illness. He was taken for treatment to the United Kingdom, but was brought back to his family home early in the week where he passed, throwing an entire nation into mourning.

Former players, administrators, media and fans were left in shock as news of the legendary striker's passing spread.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, captain of that team that Yekini played in, symbolized the nationwide anguish as he was left speechless with grief.

“I can't talk now. I can't talk now. Maybe later we can talk, but not now,” Keshi said in a broken voice.

Fans besieged radio call-ins, social networking sites and Blackberry Messenger service with grief-stricken messages.

Yekini made his first international appearance for Nigeria in a 2-1 win over Ghana at the 1984 African Nations Cup and went on to appear a total of 58 times over a 14-year international career, scoring 37 goals to put him top of the all-time Eagles scorers' list.

During his most prolific spell for Nigeria, he rattled in a remarkable 31 goals in 30 games between March 1990 and June 1994.

The first of those goals came in 1-0 win over Egypt at the African Nations Cup in Algeria, and the last was that emblematic opening strike against Bulgaria.

In between, there was four-goal haul over Burkina Faso In 1991, a hat trick against Ethiopia in 1993 and seven braces against the likes of Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Georgia.

Those goals helped Nigeria qualify for and win the African Nations Cup, and were also instrumental in Nigeria's qualification for the 1994 World Cup.

Yekini's opening goal in Nigeria's 3-0 defeat of Bulgaria was not only Nigeria's first ever World Cup goal, but his net-shaking celebration became one of the most iconic images of the World Cup.

Beginning his career at UNTL in Kaduna, Yekini went on to play for Shooting Stars and Abiola Babes before moving to Cote d'Ivoire's Africa Sports, claiming top scorer honors at all three clubs.

From there he joined Portugal's Vitoria Setubal, scoring a freakish 90 goals in 108 appearances, winning the league golden boot in 1994 with a then barely believable 34 goals in 32 games.

In 1993, he was named African Player of the Year, the first Nigerian to claim the award.

Yekini becomes the second member of Nigeria's Golden Generation to pass away, following Uche Okafor's death in 2011.

Article by: Colin Udoh

Previous comments on this story...

Anonymous
posted: 09:44 am
R.I.P Rashidi, the '94 WC stunner shall forever be engraved on our minds.

Fare thee well!
lmothibi
posted: 09:50 am
R.I.P even if i don't know you cos da year u make you fist internation apperance i was not yet born.
Super Green
posted: 10:02 am
You will always be remembered as a 'Nigerian Great" RIP Rashidi.
topstarz
posted: 10:12 am
The best so far ,oh rest in peace
Umsab\'ungamaz\'
posted: 10:14 am
RIP Mr Yekini
This' the guys who made Super Eagles real Super Eagles not these latest f.a.g.g.o.t.s
blackpanther187
posted: 10:31 am
R.I.P
Anonymous
posted: 10:43 am
Rest in peace my great brother.
coache
posted: 10:55 am
If the news is true, then I miss you greatly YEKING.

I got to study him and each time he mistakenly or knowingly chests the ball in the opponents eighteen, I already know that is a goal. He was so reliable until the great conspiracy at the world cup against him.

Sun re oo RASHIDI YEKING YEKINI. You died a hero
Anonymous
posted: 11:34 am
So far I've only heard of 2 of them throughout Nigeria's footballing history, one Thompson Usiyen & Rashidi Yekini. None so far had ever surpassed this two gentlemen.
Adieu Rashidi Yekini. You have left your footprints in the sands of time!
Anonymous
posted: 01:01 pm
Rest In Peace Gangling !!
Bona
posted: 01:28 pm
Yekini dead? I know it will come to this, those who suppose to give him help but refused are now the chief mourners shedding crocodile tears. Great Rashidi Yekini rest in peace, may the good Lord receive your gentle soul.
Anonymous
posted: 01:30 pm
Its just so shocking.its has left me in a sober state since i heard the news,yekini is the greatest footballer to come frm Nigeria.adieu king of goals,adieu the great rashidi yekini.
Game147
posted: 02:43 pm
Chai chai chai , so yekini don die ? Nawa o. R.i.p ye-king rashidi, you shall always reign supreme in the mins of us who saw you play.
Anonymous
posted: 02:55 pm
Rest in peace the gangling striker. I am fortunate to watch you played in 1994 in Dallas Texas Nigeria debut in the WC 1994, the goals and celebrations made me proud to be a Nigerian and earned me a big respect from my classmates at University and colleaques at work.

Please let us respect our heroes both alive and passed!!!
Anonymous
posted: 02:56 pm
Inanlilahi wa inan lilahi rojihun from there we come and there we go I'm Nigeria by birth but stay in SA Egbon may Allah 4ogive. All ur sin and you rest in peace gangling and the only player that never missed penalty during his play time
onyekwere
posted: 03:33 pm
Yekini gave me some of my happiest moments in life.His death has made me speechless
Essien51
posted: 03:41 pm
So sad,mai his perfect soul rest in peace.
theeagle
posted: 03:43 pm
Hi Pals

When Best Ogedengbe of blessed memory died it hurt so much. But Rashidi Yekini's death is so painful. He was one of my football heroes.

My Tribute

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE LOVED
A SPECIAL PLAYER
WHO ONCE WORE THE GREEN, WHITE, GREEN
YOU ARE THE EPITOME OF
WHAT A SUPER EAGLES PLAYER SHOULD BE
YOUR STYLE OF PLAY WAS MAJESTIC
WE KNOW YOU AS GANGLING RASHIDI YEKINI
A GENIUS WITH AN EYE FOR GOAL
PUTTING SMILES ON THE FACE OF YOUR FANS
FOR SO MANY LIVES YOU TOUCHED WITH YOUR GOALS
YOU PLAYED WITH PASSION FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY
I HEARD ABOUT YOUR DEATH
I THOUGHT IT CAN NEVER HAPPEN
YOUR DEATH WAS JUST ISNT FAIR
I WISH I COULD SEE YOU AGAIN
IT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPEN
YOU WERE WAY TOO YOUNG
IT WAS WAY TO EARLY
I NEVER THOUGHT THIS COULD HURT SO MUCH
I WISH YOU WASNT GONE
YOU WOULD ALWAYS BE LOVED
ADIEU RASHIDI YEKINI
MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE
theeagle
posted: 04:01 pm
Hi Pals


Life and Career

Rashidi Yekini (23 October 1963 - 4 May 2012) was a Nigerian footballer who played as a striker. He scored Nigeria's first goal in a FIFA World Cup.

Yekini was born in Kaduna. After starting his professional career in the Nigerian league, he moved to Côte d'Ivoire to play for Africa Sports National. From there he went to Portugal and Vitória de Setúbal, where he experienced his most memorable years, eventually becoming the Portuguese first division's top scorer, in 1993–94, as his performances (32 matches, 34 goals) earned him the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1993, the first ever from the nation.

In the 1994 summer, Yekini was bought by Olympiacos FC, but did not get along with teammates and left. His career never really got back on track, not even upon a return to Setúbal, which happened after another unassuming spell, in La Liga with Sporting de Gijón. He successively played with FC Zürich, Club Athlétique Bizertin and Al-Shabab Riyadh, before rejoining Africa Sports. In 2003, at 39, he returned to the Nigerian championship with Julius Berger FC.

In 2005, 41-year old Yekini made a short comeback, moving alongside former national teammate Mobi Oparaku to Gateway United FC in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.

International career
Scoring 37 goals for Nigeria's national side in 58 appearances, Yekini is the national record goalscorer. He was part of the team that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup (where he scored Nigeria's first-ever goal in a World Cup, in a 3–0 win against Bulgaria) and the 1998 World Cup.

Additionally, Yekini also helped the Super Eagles win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, where he also topped the goal charts, and participated at Olympic level, in Seoul 1988.
Personal Life And Death

Yekini was severally reported to be ill for an extended period of time. In 2011, the news media in Nigeria had been awash with stories of his failing health, he was said to have suffered from bipolar disorder, depression and some other undisclosed neurological defect.

Yekini, a devout muslim, lived alone in his home, in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria, in spite of the fact that he had three wives and three children.

News of his death began to filter in late friday night, May 4 2012, on several online blogs and social media sites, the stories were duly confirmed by his former teammates from the 1994 FIFA World Cup Super Eagles squad, Mutiu Adepoju and Ike Shorunmu. It is reported that he died early friday morning in a Private Hospital in Ibadan and is to be buried in his native Kwara State, a North-central state in Nigeria, just a day after his passing, as is the custom with muslim deaths.

Legendary
Rashidi Yekini’s name would forever be remembered in the history of African football for his great achievements. From 1993-1994, as his performances (34 goals in 32 matches) was part of what contributed to him being given the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1993, the first ever from Nigeria.

Chronicle

Date of birth October 23, 1963

Place of birth Kaduna, Nigeria

Date of death May 4, 2012 (aged 48)

Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Striker

Senior career*
Years Team Apps† (Gls)†
1981–1982 UNTL Kaduna

1982–1984 Shooting Stars

1984–1987 Abiola Babes

1987–1990 Africa Sports

1990–1994 Vitória Setúbal

1994–1995 Olympiacos

1995–1996 Sporting Gijón

1997 Vitória Setúbal

1997–1998 Zürich

1998–1999 Bizerte

1999 Al-Shabab

1999–2002 Africa Sports

2002–2003 Julius Berger

2005 Gateway

National team
1984–1998 Nigeria

Culled from Wikipedia.


May His Soul Rest in Perfect Peace.

stan'Lee
posted: 04:03 pm
...So Sad to know that Ye-King is no more.
So sad!!!
There is only one Rashidi Yekini...the Goalfather!!!
Rest in peace Superstar....you will always be in our thoughts!!!
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