|Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) held a banquet in honour of Stephen Keshi (right) and the Nigeria team after they won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations|
One of African football's best-known figures, Stephen Keshi, has died at the age of 54, the Nigeria Football Federation has said. A former captain of the Nigeria national team, Keshi was one of only two men to win the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach.
He also managed Togo and Mali, and his playing career included a spell for Belgian club side Anderlecht. He is thought to have suffered a heart attack, local media reported.
As a player, Keshi was part of the Super Eagles team that won the Nations Cup in 1994 and narrowly missed out on a World Cup quarter-final place the same year. He coached the national side over three spells, leading Nigeria to the 2013 Nations Cup title in South Africa and the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His contract was not renewed after the World Cup but he later returned on a match-by-match deal following the team's failure to reach the 2015 Nations Cup finals. He was then sacked as caretaker coach but reinstated after intervention from then Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan. He was sacked for a final time last July.
Horrible news & Sad day as Our legendary Captain & brother Stephen Keshi dies.May his blessed soul rest in peace.we lost an iconic Hero 2day— Sunday Oliseh (@SundayOOliseh) June 8, 2016
Nigeria legend, Stephen Keshi, dies at 54— The NFF (@thenff) June 8, 2016
Former Nigeria Captain and Coach, Stephen Keshi, is dead. Reports say the legend died in the early hours of Wednesday, RIP Big Boss.— The NFF (@thenff) June 8, 2016
NFF President Amaju Pinnick: "Keshi was a superhero. His death is a big loss to Nigeria as a nation, not only to Nigeria football."— The NFF (@thenff) June 8, 2016
BREAKING: At just the tender age of 54 fmr Nigerian superstar & Captain & Coach, Stephen Keshi has passed away. May the LEGEND #RIPKeshi— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) June 8, 2016
Keshi is the 5th member of the all-conquering '94 team to die, following Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Rashidi Yekini & Wilfred Agbonavbare.— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) June 8, 2016
What a Champ!! Losing was NOT part of his vocab!!!! The BIG BOSS!! Unbelievable. #RIPKeshi pic.twitter.com/6suYZxS3cA— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) June 8, 2016