Tributes to The Goalsfather
Posted: May 17, 2012
Reactions to last week’s article, The Goalsfather Goes Home, have been tremendous. I have decided to devote today’s column to the feedback as Nigerians continue to pay their last respects to the late Rashidi Yekini...
NIGERIA has lost probably the most dedicated and most disciplined player in history in Rashidi Yekini. Adieu, O Yekini. – Dosunmu Kazeem, Surulere, Lagos.
INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJIUN (From God we have come and to Him shall we return). With a deep heart and total submission to the will of Allah (SWT), I condole with you and all Nigerians on the death of Rashidi Yekini. May Allah forgive him and reward him with Aljanat al-Firdaws (The best of paradise). – Umar Faruk, Sokoto.
IT IS a pity to have allowed YE-KING, the goal poacher, to die so cheaply without a fight. – Solomon Alabede.
REST in peace, Goalsfather Yekini and Up Sooting for life. – Gbadebo Adegbola, Lagos.
IT IS a pity that we have lost a legend at this crucial time of our football re-development. Yekini’s death is a big blow to Nigeria and other African countries. May his soul rest in perfect peace, amen.- 0818253....
HI, MUMEEN. I felt like crying when I read your article, The Goalsfather Goes Home. Honestly, I never knew that Rashidi Yekini was so humble. I really appreciate your effort. May Allah reward you. –Dayo, from Iba, Lagos.
HI, Mumini. After reading your article, I am convinced that Rashidi Yekini wasn’t mad afterall. Those that forcibly took him away against his will killed him. This is a national disgrace. The Federal and Kwara State governments should immortalize him. – K.B. Father, Ojodu, Lagos.
YOUR article on The Goalsfather was quite moving. All I can say is that ‘may his gentle soul rest in peace, amen. – From Ropo Falomo.
I AM still lost about Yekini’s death. For those of us who grew up in Ibadan as die-hard Shooting Starsfans, we will miss him. Your May 19 Complete Sports is already a sell-out! That day marks exactly 28 years since IICC Shooting stars thrashed Tonnere Kalala of Cameroun in the second round, first leg of the then African ChampionsCup. Goals from Segun Odegbami, Felix Owolabi, Wakilu Oyenuga and lastly Rashidi Yekini made our day. I can never forget those interesting afternoons at the Liberty Stadium. I will personally write via e-mail a lot of things you guys in the media might have forgotten. No, no, no, tell me that I am not dreaming (that Yekini is no more). –Ayobami Bamidele.
OGA Mumini. I was crying as I read your Soccertalk on Rashidi Yekini’s death. Why, why, why? It’s so painful and I’m holding everybody responsible. Rest in peace, Goalsfather. – Ifeanyi Onyeguli, Lagos.
DEAR Mumini. I think many cans of worm are being opened by Yekini’s death. If he could respond to your telephone calls and even called back, it means he was in his right senses. If dolling out generous gifts to the poor means someone is mentally imbalanced, then I’m sorry. –Bro. Raphael Adeoye, Ijora, Lagos.
DEATH is a necessary end but my heart bleeds for Ye-king. We have lost a footballer’s footballer. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. The Federal Government should immortalize him. – Anayo Mbama, Lagos.
ASSALAMUN alaikun (Peace be upon you). I read your article on Yekini’s death and I remember when his former club, Abiola Babes, were travelling to Tunis for a match. The late proprietor Chief MKO Abiola came to the Murtala Mohammed Airport around 4.20pm and I was at the departure hall. MKO went to Yekini and asked whether he (Yekini) had said his Asr (late afternoon muslim prayer) to which Yekini responded yes. That was when I knew that Yekini was very religious and never joked with his prayers. May Allah forgive him all his sins, amen. – 08071093….
DEAR Mumini. I commiserate with the entire Nigerian football family and football fans the world over the death of YE-KING. Like you, I do not want to comment on the circumstances of his death. All I want to say is that our football authorities still have work to do in taking care of our national heroes. – Ade, Lagos.
YOUR article, The Goalsfather Goes Home, was phenomenal. On Yekini’s death, I think his neighbours should have assisted him by resisting his family from taking him away. May his soul rest in peace, amen. – Onuoha Charles.
GOD bless you, Mumini, for those fond memories of YE-KING. I’ve been an ardent follower of your Soccertalk since 1993 and actually read the Yekini interview that you recollected. I have never forgotten Yekini’s statement: “Even if Nigeria was playing against ants and cockroaches and I’m invited, I will play.” I told some of my colleagues at work about the statement last week Monday without knowing that you were going to publish it again in your column. Adieu, Goalsfather!!! – Taiwo Ige, Akowonjo, Lagos.
THANKS for the beautiful work you’re doing with Soccertalk. My humble reaction to Yekini’s death is that we should learn to celebrate our heroes, dead or alive. Yekini was Nigeria’s highest goals scorer ever with 37 goals in 58 games. Who is next to him on Nigeria’s all-time scoring charts? – 0805301....
*Segun Odegbami with 24 goals in 48 games.
DEAR SIR. Your piece The Goalsfather Goes Home was another vintage masterpiece. But this time, it brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes. Between me and you, we know that if the Nigeria Football Federation and the government had intervened more forcefully in Yekini’s affairs (during the rumours about his madness), he would probably still be alive today. Again when I watched how he was buried like a common man, my heart bled even more. I think Yekini deserved a national burial. No excuse is acceptable to me. – Emmanuel Jack Udoh, Lagos. (Please note: You goofed, Mumini. Nigeria beat Bulgaria 4-0 at USA ’94, not 3-0 as you wrote).
*You goofed, Emmanuel. It was 3-0.
PLEASE remember that Daniel “The Bull” Amokachi also returned home to play briefly in the local league after his career in Europe just like Ye-King. But ‘Oga na Oga’, and Yekini was the best. Dear Rashidi Yekini, please don’t sleep but rest peacefully in the Lord. You will never die in the hearts of Nigerians. Adieu, humble one. – 0813114....
YE-KING became a hero to Nigerians only after his death. How sad. - From GEE.
I THINK the Federal Government should wade into the matter and investigate what actually led to Rashidi Yekini’s death. He should not be allowed to die in vain. Anyway, may the gentle soul that fetched us the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations trophy rest in perfect peace, amen. –Jide Abayomi, Ketu.
I NEVER met The Goalsfather, but he was the only Nigerian player that I had personal affection for because he always gave his all to the national team. But regrettably, this country gives nothing back to genuine patriots like Yekini. If the government fail to immortalize him, I will in my own little way. – Pastor Paul, Benin.
I HAVE missed Soccertalk for some time. But when Rashidi Yekini died, I knew I must not miss Soccertalk and thank God I didn’t. I bought and read every edition of Complete Football between 1992 and 1996, so I’m very familiar with all your stories on Rashidi Yekini and his patriotism to Nigeria some of which you recounted last week. But you forgot to mention how he refused to t in a contract either with Vitoria Setubal or FC Zurich when they gave a condition to limit the number of games he would play for Nigeria. What a patriot he was. – Lanre Oredein, Benin City.
YOUR article on Rashidi Yekini would be incomplete without emphasising to our Super Eagles of today that Yekini hardly received a yellow card on national duty, much less a red card. The king is gone. May his soul rest in peace, amen. – Davies Adebara, Shao, Kwara State.
THIS outpouring of tributes from our football managers after the death of our heroes is bad. They should treat our heroes well while alive and stop reserving praises for when they die. – 0803219....
THANKS, Mumini for keeping your wonderful column going. This is my first letter to you but I want you to know that I’ve been enjoying your writing for years. God bless you. As for Yekini, it’s a shame that we don’t value quality human lives in this country until we’ve lost them. What a waste. – J.J from Mile 12, Lagos.
IT SADDENS my heart that we have lost our humble, patriotic “gangling” Yekini, Nigeria’s all-time leading goal scorer in such pathetic circumstances. RIP, Yekini. – Sanni Adeyemi, Ilasa, Lagos.
THANKS, Al-Mumin for your tribute to Ye-King. May Allah forgive his sins and grant him Aljanat insha Allah, amen. But is it only Didier Drogba that falls (at the slightest touch)? You have started again o! Chelsea for Life.– 0818379....
“WHAT is there to rush about life when the fact is that one day, you’ll simply drop dead and leave everything behind.” Hmmmmm. Choice words from the legendary Rashidi Yekini. Those will be my WATCHWORDS from today. RIP, Yekini. – Kazeem Adewale Kolapo, Geri-Alimi, Ilorin.
YOUR article on The Goalsfather made me cry for this country that has little or no respect for its heroes. Why should Yekini die like that? Anyway, when next are we going to produce another goals scorer like Rashidi Yekini especially in Yorubaland? – Frank Odewale.
THANKS for that very moving article on The Goalsfather. Really, it was very touching and memorable. May almighty Allah grant Rashidi Yekini Aljanat Firdaos, amen. – Ubale Y.D., University of Calabar.
YE-KING said he would play if invited when his country plays against ants and cockroaches and you call that just “living for football.” Haba, Mumini, you got it wrong there. That was living for the nation and placing your country above monetary reward. Yekini’s 37-goal national record may look meagre but it is a big feat considering he poached them in only 58 games. With the poor level of commitment among modern dayNigerian footballers, they may never break this goal record. Yekini should be the yardstick for measuring patriotism in the Super Eagles. May his soul rest in peace – 0807565....
DEAR Mumini. Yours was an indepth and breathtaking analysis of the exploits of Ye-King. May Allah grant him eternal rest in Aljanat Firdaos. – 0806388....
THANKS for telling the world that Rashidi Yekini was not mad before he died. I suggest that the Kwara township stadium be named after him instead of the U-15 competition that I hear the NFF are planning. I think Yekini is worth more than that. Adieu, Gangling Yekini. –Oyeniyi Masud.
Drama in Manchester
IT IS A big surprise that no Manchester City FC supporter has been reported hospitalised for high blood pressure or even heart failure following the high drama that culminated in their first English Premier League title (their first top flight title in 44 years) on the last day of the season last Sunday at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
With their neighbours and bitter title rivals Manchester United having secured a 1-0 win away at Sunderland, City who had to match or better United’s result to clinch the title on goal difference could see the trophy slipping through their fingers as they trailed 2-1 to strugglers Queens Park Rangers as the clock ticked 90 minutes. But during the five minutes of added time, the Citizens conjured two goals to win 3-2 and snatch the title with virtually the last kick of the season. City fans were transported from the deepest depth of despair to the highest heights of happiness in a matter of seconds. It is a wonder how their hearts coped with no one suffering a seizure.
United deserve commendation for fighting to the very bitter end, finishing tied with City on 89 points and only losing out on goal difference. But it has to be said that City, who beat United home and away during the season, were worthy champions. Congratulations to Roberto Mancini and the blue half of Manchester.
Drama in Munich?
I AM WRITING this on Monday night in Cologne, just a three hour train ride from the Allianz Arena in Munich, venue of this weekend’s 2012 European Champions League final between Bayern Munich of Germany and Chelsea FC of England on Saturday, May 19. If I am lucky and I am able to secure a ticket, I will be able to report the match first hand to Complete Sports readers, especially the legion of Chelsea fans back home in Nigeria.
I don’t have a press ticket as I write because I’m here on a different mission. I didn’t plan to cover the match originally so I didn’t apply for a ticket. With UEFA having to ration the tickets among hundreds of journalists from across the globe who applied months ago, many will still be shut out of the game, leaving people like me with no chance at all. Buying a spectator ticket on the black market is out of the question. The last time I checked on the internet, the going rate was 1,200 Pound Sterling (about N300,000). For just one football match? Yes. You better believe it. This is the biggest club football match in the world that we’re talking about.
So, what shall I do now? Pray for a lucky break. My host here in Germany is searching for a way out, pressing all sorts of buttons. He has not made me any promises, but he’s hoping on a miracle.
I arrived here in time to see Borrusia Dortmund thrash Bayern Munich 5-2 in the German Cup final
last Saturday in Berlin to complete a German League and Cup double. I’m sure our Mikel Obi’s Chelsea coach, Roberto Di Matteo, was watching and now has the template on how to shock Bayern who will have the advantage of home support. Are we going to witness another football drama in Munich, the type that we saw last month in Barcelona and Madrid and also last weekend in Manchester? Welcome to the UEFA Champions League final. Tighten your seat belts!
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