Although Nigerians still find it difficult to come to terms on what led to Stephen Keshi shocking demise on June 7th, 2016, one of those very close to the former Nigeria captain has opened up on some of the never shared details of Keshi’s final few months before his demise
Keshi’s Final days
Nairobi (June 5, 2013)
According to David Meshioye, the Big Boss was looking frail and sick but he managed to mumble few words as team bus leaves La Mada Hotel at Thika Road, Nairobi, Kenya for Moi International Stadium.
Nigeria did go on to win that tie 0-1 to brighten her chances of qualifying for Brazil 2014 World Cup. As players threw caution to the wind in celebration, Keshi withdrew to his room and never made any further public appearance that evening.
Victor Wanyama had turned up at Eagles’ nest that night to demand apologies from Onazi over the injury the Lazio midfielder inflicted on him, but left angrily when his Celtic teammates, Efe Ambrose failed to turn up on time.
PLAYERS DESERTED KESHI
With Super Eagles’ job out of the way, his attention was shifted to his ailing wife Kate. Kate had been battling cancer for three years and Keshi had spent millions of naira to keep his wife alive. Some of his loyal players called to know how his wife was fairing while others cared less. One aggrieved Super Eagles’ player vowed never to support Keshi financially in his battle to foot staggering hospital bill because he dropped him for Brazil 2014 World Cup squad. Onazi Ogenyi was kind enough to support Bigboss’ by sending his widow’s mite.
AND THE MAN DIED
To say Keshi was devastated over his wife death is an understatement. His life fell apart. He felt alone, lonely and deserted. He returned to Benin that June in a long haul flight and developed fresh pain on his leg and every effort to give him a massage was abortive. He later died of cardiac arrest on June 7, 2016.
Bigboss will be fondly remembered for the new life he breathed into Nigerian football. He gave Nigerian league a new face and was proud to carry the touch for local players. Many had hoped that he would continue to do that for new generation. But his reign was cut short far too soon.