Twenty-seven years after his demise, the late Samuel Okwaraji is again being remembered by the football family in Nigeria and across the world on Saturday.

Okwaraji slumped and died at the mainbowl of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos on August 12, 1989 during a World Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles and their Angolan counterparts.

Though it is generally been said that enough hasn't been done to immortalise the late soccer hero, tributes were again paid to Okwaraji by the Nigeria Football Federation and other former internationals on Saturday.

Etim Esin, one of the Super Eagles players that day, recalled vividly the sad incident during a chat with Bounce Sports.


“I don’t like remembering the sad incidence. It was the worst game in my career. Okwaraji’s death remains one of the greatest shocks I ever got”, remarked Etim Esin. Another former Super Eagles’ player, Ajibade Babalade.

Another player at the match, Austin Eguavoen recalls: “This is not a good episode for me to recount. Remember that apart from Okwaraji, there were some other deaths among the fans. I weep any time I remember August 12.”

Also, former national team skipper and the youngest of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winners, Henry Nwosu remarks: “It is very sad to remember such event. But what can we do than to keep praying for the families of those who has lost their loved ones – the fans and the late Okwaraji who will forever remain a hero.”