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Ekeji pays tributes to oldest Nigeria’s ex international, Titus Okere





Former Nigerian international and director general of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji has paid tribute to the memory of Titus Okere, a member of Nigeria’s first national team who passed on in the early hours of Tuesday.

Okere was the last survivor of the team of 18 footballers that formed the first Nigeria national football team which is today glowingly tagged as the Super Eagles.

In a message to the Sports Village Square, Dr. Ekeji recalled how Nigeria’s first indigenous coach, Dan Anyiam, who incidentally was also a team-mate of Okere in the 1949 squad, was always speaking glowingly of Okere.

Ekeji remarked that the Late Anyiam who was his coach in the all-conquering East Central State Academicals “never ceased telling us of how exceptionally skilful Okere was with his left foot.


“That it was his display in England that attracted scouts to offer him the contract that made Okere to relocate ot UK in 1953.”

That made him Nigeria’s first ever professional footballer. Two years later, the legendary Tesilimi ‘Thunder’ Balogun followed.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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