Former Red Devils (now Super Eagles) striker Dejo Fayemi has passed on. He died at his Ibadan residence on Friday aged 83.
Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Abayomi Oke, described the deceased as a committed sportsman, whose contribution to the development of football in Nigeria would be remembered.
Fayemi, who scored on his debut when Nigeria beat Ghana for the first time, was among the first set of Nigerian footballers who travelled to England in 1961 to play professional football.
In 1961, he scored as Nigeria beat their hosts in an invitational match to mark Sierra Leone’s Independence Day celebration. He scored a goal when the Liberty Stadium (now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium) was officially opened in 1958. He was the best player in the game.
Oke said the state government would miss the departed, adding that the government had informed the NFF about Fayemi’s demise.
He said, “I knew the late Fayemi personally. From my meeting with him, I realised what Nigeria was missing in our legends. We need the experience of such a committed legend who selflessly laid the foundation of football in this country. Oyo State will continue to mourn him for his contribution to the development of the game in the state and in Nigeria.
“I have directed that the NFF should be notified of his demise. We appreciate him but we have to submit to the will of God.”
The deceased’s eldest daughter, Kemi, said her father did not show any sign of ailment days before he breathed his last.
She said, “My father ate the amala I prepared for him on the night before he died and he joked with his grandchildren before he went to bed. We expected him to come out of his room in the morning but he did not. When we got inside, we discovered that he was dead. We shall miss him.”