Anambra FA Bulletin!
Late Alloy Atuegbu, POC Achebe, Ernest Ufele, Okey Isima, Temple Moneke, Ernest Okonkwo, Power Mike Okpalla, Kenneth Ilodigwe and others remembered.
It was a solemn and emotional Saturday at Awka City as the Anambra State Football Association led by its Chairman Gen. Chikelue Iloenyosi paid homage to illustrious sons and daughters of the state of sporting extraction. The event drew former footballers, administrators, fans of different generations and other football stakeholders from within and outside the state.
In a solemn mass celebrated by Rev Fr. Emmanuel Ezenwata who is working at Ave Maria Parish, Nwafia. The priest said special mass of the dead for our departed heroes and heroines and fervently prayed to God to accept and rest their souls accordingly. In his homily, he eulogized the FA Chairman, Chikelue Iloenyosi for his outstanding work so far and called on ndi Anambra to rally round him to take football to greater heights.
This is a wonderful occasion. I am privileged to be here with you guys. Some of these names mentioned here today were people that I grew up idolizing. To say a prayer for them to means alot. Most of them might have been forgotten even by their immediate family members. That’s why I am thanking the General, the FA Chairman of Anambra state for instituting this wonderful event. You have done remarkably well in just few months of taking over. I can only call on ndi Anambra to embrace the innovative ideas that you have brought in and will still bring in. Keep up the good works.
Gen. Chikelue Iloenyosi in address, was grateful to God for such a special day. He went down memory lane to recount how he and some of his friends started out in their careers and how some of these explayers we are remembering today shaped their careers.
“To me, this day is special to me. Today we remember people that played this game before us and have gone to eternal rest before us. This remembrance is to give honor to them and assure their families that their labours have not been forgotten. We owe them our prayers, this will be yearly event and next year’s own will be better. This event meant a lot to each of you that is here today. Thank you all for coming and thanks in a special way my good friend Fr Emmanuel Ezenwata for honoring our invitation. God bless you all as you return to your various destinations.”
The first Nigeria footballer to move abroad and a 1980 Nations cup winner, Sylvanus Okpala MON led a contingent of other ex-internationals that came to the event. Quick Silver as he is widely known, thanked the General for this wonderful opportunity for him in a special way to remember some of his colleagues.
“Being part of this event meant a lot personally to me. From the list mentioned, I played with or against many of them. I worked with some others in different capacities as well. I was really emotional when the mass was going on. We will continue to pray and remember them till we join them. I want to specially thank Chikelue for this initiative. It was in great wisdom this event came about and may God continue to give him more wisdom as he directs the footballing affairs of the state and changes the narrative and discussion of Anambra Football positively
Other Ex players that were there are, Ifeanyi Onyedika MON who is a member of the 1980 AFCON winning team, former Rangers/Green Eagles defender Michael Okpodudu, former Rangers midfielders/Chairman ANFPU Anambra state chapter Joseph Nwafor, Former Rangers and Green Eagles player Okwuchukwu Obiora(Agali Mojo), Former Rangers/Vasco Da gama Team manager Innocent Abana, General Manger Nnewi United/Secretary of ANFPU Olisa Onuchukwu, CEO of Obosi United Uzor Epundu, Paul Obiakor, former Rangers/El Kanemi Warriors player Coach Zubby of DOSAD FA, Ezenwata Nnama, Ekene Ikenwa, Fabule, Chuks Ndigwe among others.
Dignitaries that came are Barrister Acting Secretary of the state FA Mr Raph Nweke, Ifeanyichukwu Ojukwu SSA to FA Chairman, Ik Igbokwe, Director of Sports UNIZIK Dr Ken Ogbonna, Retired National Referee Sir Bebeto Udennaka, Director of Sports in Anambra state Sports Commission Faith Okwonna, Anambra FA Media Officer Ikem Asika.
LFC Chairmen led by the Ihiala LFC Chairman/Chairman of Planning Committee Prince Michael JIMBAZ Mbaezue, John Ofili, Hon. Dumebi Onubiyi, John Ubendu, Ugochukwu Nduaguba, Engr Okey Okeke, Comrade Hyginus Okolo, Abuchi Onwumelu, Uncle Ralph Okafor and Nwafor Orji.
The highlight of the event was the lightning of candles and all the over 80 late sports men and women were called one after the other with their towns mentioned as well.