Sam Okwaraji on this day 31 years ago, slumped on the pitch during a world cup qualifier in Lagos and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Okwaraji’s death gripped Nigeria and left the football-crazed nation stunned at the loss of a rising star.
Among the many things he will be remembered for was a famous quote about his allegiance to country over club.
I am a Lawyer you know and signed to play football for certain conditions but I don’t think it included reselling my service to my country. You or your club cannot stop me from playing for my country. Let me tell you, I am going to represent my country whether you like it or not.
The NFF posted an emotional message on their official Twitter handle in memory of the late energetic and all-round midfield monster.
“Today, we remember former @NGSuperEagles midfielder, Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji who passed on to glory, in active service, on this day in 1989. His legend lives forever. Keep resting Soldier. #WeRememberOkwaraji. ” NFF said in a tweet.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) August 12, 2020
Many on this day continue to pay tribute to the memory of the former player.
Worth mentioning that Okwaraji was also a professional lawyer as he graduated from Pontifical Lateran University, Rome. He was a youth team player for @ASRomaPidgin before joining Dinamo Zagreb. YouTube doesn’t have enough of clips of him but he was the best dribbler at his time https://t.co/72sYKpaNZA
— Daniele (@EdenDassidy) August 12, 2019
Samuel Okwaraji played for #Nigeria at the 1988 Olympic Games and the 1988 AFCON in Morocco.
The midfielder collapsed after a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Lagos stadium ambulance 🚑 failed to start.
Death was announced later that night.
His Mother abandoned😢
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) August 12, 2019
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