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More tributes for late Atuegbu

21 September 2013, 07:41

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 ex-internationals.

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 Thursday.



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