Former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was born on the 23rd January 1962 and died 8th of June 2016.
He was a Nigerian football defender. He was also a football manager of the Nigeria national team. He was one of only two people, along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach.
Keshi was married to his wife Kate (née Abureme) for 33 years. She died on 10 December 2015, after battling cancer for three years.
They had four children. Kesh’s playing career started at ACB Football Club, and later played for New Nigeria Bank, Stade d’Abidjan, Africa Sports, Lokeren, Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg.
Between 2004 and 2006 Keshi coached the Togo national football team, surprisingly bringing them to their first World Cup tournament, Germany 2006. He also coached Mali.
In 2013 Keshi led Super Eagles Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which they won by defeating Burkina Faso 1–0 in the final.
He led Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which they went on to win, defeating Burkina Faso 1–0 in the final. The following day Keshi handed in his resignation, only to reverse his decision the day after. Keshi led Nigeria to the 2013 Confederations Cup, defeated Tahiti 6–1, and lost 1–2 to Uruguay in the second game, and also lost 0–3 to World Cup winners, Spain in their final group game.
On 16 November 2013, Keshi’s Super Eagles secured qualification for the 2014 World Cup by beating Ethiopia 4–1 on aggregate in a play-off. On 18 November 2013, Stephen keshi set a record in African football by being the first African coach to successfully qualify two African nations (Nigeria and Togo) to the World Cup Finals.
He also helped Nigeria become the first country to achieve an African Cup of Nations trophy and World Cup qualification, both in 2013. On 25 June 2014, Keshi’s Super Eagles progressed to the knockout stage of 2014 World Cup.
They started the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Iran, followed by a controversial 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. They lost the final group stage match 2-3 against Argentina, but progressed to the knockout stage, courtesy of a 3-1 win by Bosnia and Herzegovina over Iran.
Keshi, went to Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Lagos, He represented Nigeria from 1982, at age 20, till 1994, most of the time captaining the Super Eagles and scoring vital goals from his position as a central defender.
Keshi died on 8th of June 2016 in Benin City, after suffering from a cardiac arrest. He was 54.