The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has mourned the passing of former Nigerian international footballer, ACP Sunny Oyarekhua (Rtd).
Obaseki, in a statement, described Oyarekhua’s demise as a great loss to Edo State and Nigeria, noting that he will be sorely missed.
According to the governor, “I received the news of the passing of ex-international footballer, ACP Sunny Oyarekhua (Rtd) with a heavy heart.
“Oyarekhua, a prominent member of the men’s senior national football team, Green Eagles, between 1971 and 1975, played an indispensable role in the advancement of Nigerian football, emerging the top goal scorer at the 1973 All-African Games in which the Green Eagles won the Gold medal for the tournament.
“He was passionate, committed and a stickler for excellence. An accomplished international footballer, Oyarekhua will be remembered as a worthy patriot who contributed immensely to sports development in our country. His demise has indeed created a big vacuum in the country’s football community.
“My deep condolences go to his immediate family, friends and associates, as well as the football community in Edo State, Nigeria, and indeed the world.”
Oyarekhua, a policeman, rose to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP). He played club football for Benin Amateur Football Association (BAFA) and Police Machine Team. He also played for the Midwest XI including the memorable game against Santos FC, complete with Pele, Edu, Maria and Gilmar at the Ogbe Stadium in 1969.