Awka - More Nigerians have continued to pour
encomiums on late Matthew Atuegbu, who died on Aug. 24 after a brief
illness, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Atuegbu, a former coach of Rangers international, Enugu, and
founding member of Mighty Jets Football Club in Jos at the age of 70.
Some of mourners who spoke to NAN in Awka on Friday, described him as a very amiable and accommodating fellow.
Emmanuel Okala, a former Rangers goalkeeper, who played under
Atuegbu, described him as not only a coach but also a father to the
players and the major reason for the club’s successes in those days.
Okala said late Atuegbu had a lot of virtues which people could emulate.
“Matthew was a great coach; a gentleman to the core who worked very hard for the success of Rangers.
"He was calm and you can hardly provoke him; he guided the players as a father and we were close to him,’’ Okala said.
The Anambra Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Edozie Aroh, described Atuegbu’s death as a huge loss.
Aroh said it was painful that a man with his wealth of experience had
to go at a time when sports was being revived in the state.
“It is painful, a seasoned sports administrator is gone; we will miss
everything about him; we could not honour him while he was a alive but
we shall extend that to him in our next phase of sports legend awards.
“He contributed immensely to the development of sports in the Old
East Central State and beyond; the Anambra Government. prays for the
repose of his soul.”
In a statement, the Secretary to the State Government, Oseloka Obaze, described the late coach as one of the most skilful
Nigerian footballers of all times.
Obaze recalled that late Atuegbu came from a family of talented footballers.
"The famous Atuegbu brothers including Matthew, Nicholas, Alloy,
Andrew and Fidelis, served Nigeria, Igboland and Anambra loyally.
“He is definitely one of the most humble and disciplined footballers on and off the pitch.
“His greatest legacy was that those he played with and coached had
been imbued with some of his professional and gentle qualities, which
they will in turn, pass on to the future generation”, he said.
The late Atuegbu, who was popularly called ‘Mogambo’, joined the
coaching ranks after his playing days and contributed to developing some
They included Donald Igwebuike, Tottie Tottie, Charles Okoye,
Ikechukwu Ofoje, Kenneth Boardman, late Chistian Ogbodo, Ifeanyi
Onyedika, among others.
When the old Anambra was split, he moved back to Awka and coached Tracas Football Club.
He retired from the Anambra Sports Council eight years ago and had
been living in Adazi-Nnukwu, his home town where he was buried on