The children of late Super Eagles’ captain and coach Stephen Keshi have praised the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation, the governments of Edo and Delta States, and the global football community, since the demise of the legend on 8th June.
A letter signed by Jennifer Keshi and addressed to the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, read: “The children of the late Stephen Keshi, Jennifer, Stephanie, Sophie, Stephen Olufemi Keshi and Stephen Keshi Jr, would like at this time to express our thanks and appreciation to the people of Nigeria, Africa, the Football community all over the world, most especially the Nigeria Football Federation, Edo and Delta State Governments, our relative, friends and well –wishers who have surrounded us with their love and care in this period of bereavement.
“We are deeply touched by the numerous calls, visits, prayers, words of encouragement and the show of willingness to be a part of the burial arrangements. Your acts of kindness and generosity have made our burden bearable. Thank you from the depths of our hearts.
“Our late dad was not only a wonderful husband to a wonderful wife, he was a soccer icon. Our mother who passed on to glory few months ago, together they were the most precious people we ever had. Their parenting and love for us knew no bound. They protected us and shielded us and prepared us for life.”
The funeral rites of the departed hero have now been fixed for 27-29 July, with a night of tribute in Abuja, lying-state, church service and novelty football match in Benin City and burial in Illah, his home –town.
Meanwhile, the Sports Committee of the House of Representatives has hailed the late Keshi as “a man of peace, a gentleman and a thoroughbred professional footballer.”
In a letter signed by its chairman, Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan and addressed to NFF president Pinnick, the committee wrote: “The death of this great icon at this point of our history is a great shock to the Committee and indeed the Football Community. The vacuum of his death will definitely be difficult to fill.”