Some former Super Eagles players have hailed ex-captain of the national team Christian Chukwu on his 70th birthday on Monday.
Chukwu led the national team, then known as the Green Eagles, to a first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980 on home-soil.
As coach, he was an assistant to Sebastian Brodericks-Imasuen as the Golden Eaglets won the maiden U-17 World Cup in China in 1985. He was also an assistant to Dutchman Clemens Westerhof when the Eagles won a second AFCON title in Tunisia in 1994 and qualified for their first-ever appearance at the World Cup same year.
On May 15, 2019, Chukwu was flown to London for medical treatment following prolonged health challenges, with billionaire oil mogul, Femi Otedola, picking up the reported $50,000 medical bill.
“I never saw him quarrel with anybody while we were teammates. He got few yellow and red cards during his playing days. He was a great player during his days, good at free-kicks for the Eagles and scored goals for club and country. In fact, he brought Rangers to limelight in 1971/72 season,” SylvanusOkpala, Chukwu’s club and country teammate, said.
“I played under Chukwu; he was my coach when we went to Tunisia 2004 AFCON. He is a no-nonsense coach. If you don’t do the right thing, you will pay the price, even if it means leaving the camp. I join others to celebrate him; he is someone I respect a lot. I thank God that he is still shining at 70,” IfeanyiUdeze, a member of the Eagles’ 2004 AFCON squad, said.
Former Eagles defender, Taribo West, added, “Chukwu is one of the coaches that began the youth revolution of Nigerian football as an assistant to Sebastian Brodericks-Imasuen in 1985. He has done well for the country.”