By Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen
Thompson Usiyen, a product of Hussey College, Warri, in the mid 70s, in my opinion was the best striker ever to play for Nigeria. He could create chances for himself, dribbled well, headed well and could shoot with either foot. He was very skilful and technically gifted.
For his clubs Ndoro Island FC and Asabatex FC he played as attacking midfielder and often switched to central striking role with the same game. I don’t have the exact stats but l believe that in about 23 or 24 outings for the Green Eagles he must have scored about 18 goals.
A member of the Dire Dawa Eagles at the Ethiopia’76 Nations Cup, Thompson distinguished himself alongside other greats like Baba Otu Mohammed, Kunle Awesu, Emetiole Kelechi, Christian Chukwu, Joseph Effiong Eric(aka Erico), Muda Lawal, Sunny Oyarekhua and co. His absence from the Green Eagles v Tunisia in the second leg of the World Cup Qualification Game in Lagos was probably the one big reason Nigeria didn’t make the World Cup in 1978.
His temperament and discipline were something young footballers could learn from. Great player, great guy.
Eternal rest grant him O Lord.