The death of two players from the Nigeria Professional League has been confirmed in the last 72 hours.
What has been a challenging year for football in Nigeria is ending on a tragic note with the death of some of the country’s promising prospects on the domestic scene.
First, it was the death of former Enyimba, Sunshine Stars, and Nasarawa United striker Chinedu Udechukwu that rocked the sports fraternity on Wednesday.
Thereafter, the sad news of the death of ex-Kano Pillars star Ebuka Odenigbo filtered in early Saturday morning.
Close sources to the deceased said the striker lost his life on Friday after what was described as a brief illness.
For Udechukwu, PREMIUM TIMES gathered he died at his base in Jos after complaining of a headache.
His former clubs, teammates among others have all expressed their sorrow at the death of the player.
Chinedu participated in the NPFL with Nasarawa United last season but his contract has since expired with the conclusion of the last campaign.
Eche Amos, the media officer for Nasarawa United in an official statement paid glowing tributes to Chinedu while also praying for the repose of his soul.
“Edu, as he was fondly called, was a young man full of life and great dreams. He was also a phenomenal figure as far as club football is concerned in Nigeria having also played for the likes of two-time CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba FC of Aba; Katsina United FC and Sunshine Stars FC of Akure.
“While we pray for the repose of his soul in heaven, we send our deepest condolences to his immediate family, his loved ones, team and playmates, the Nigeria Football Federation as well as the football fraternity in the country,” he wrote.
Chairman of Enyimba FC Felix Anyansi Agwu also expressed shock over the news of Udechukwu’s death,
He said: “It’s a big shock. This is a very bitter pill to swallow, especially at such a time as this. It feels like just yesterday when he helped us to win the league in Lagos. I can remember how he jubilated with the rest of the team inside the stadium in Lagos on the night that we won the league. It is very painful to hear that such a strong and lively young man is no more. May his should rest in peace.
“I am heartbroken by this unfortunate news; and on behalf of everyone at Enyimba, I want to convey my deepest condolences to his family, friends and the entire football community in Nigeria.”
For Odenigbo, Pillars also described his death as shocking.
The club on their Twitter handle wrote: “We received with shock, the passing away of our ex-player in person of @EbukaDavid24. Ebuka was talented and young footballer with a great potential.
We received with shock, the passing away of our ex-player in person of @EbukaDavid24. Ebuka was talented and young footballer with a great potential.
On behalf of the acting Chairman, Alh. Ibrahim Galadima, and the entire Sai Masu Gida family, our condolences to his family😢🙏 pic.twitter.com/GTQSkJYb4F
— Kano Pillars FC (@pillarsfc) December 24, 2022
“On behalf of the acting Chairman, Alh. Ibrahim Galadima, and the entire Sai Masu Gida family, our condolences to his family.”
Odenigbo was impressive all through his sojourn with Sai Masu Gida from 2018 till the end of last season.
Odenigbo joined Kano Pillars after emerging as MVP in the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL)
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