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The Nigerian football fraternity has lost one of its gems with the death of the former midfielder in the early hours of Sunday after a minor health complaint

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Thompson Oilha has been confirmed dead in Ilorin after a brief illness.

Oliha, 44, a coach with Kwara Football Academy reportedly died in the early hours of Sunday after a complaint of ‘slight headache’.

A family source who picked the call pulled across to the phone number of the dead ex-international confirmed the report and said everything still looked so strange to him considering how the incident happened.

Revealing how Oliha died the source said:"Nothing was wrong with my brother yesterday (Saturday). He even led his team to a football game yesterday and he was alright and lively. But like 4.00am this morning (Sunday) he complained of slight headache and he was rushed to the hospital from where he died.

"I was with those that deposited his body at a mortuary in Ilorin. This is unbelievable," the family source told Goal.

Oliha, born 4 October 1968 in Benin City is a retired Nigerian professional football midfielder who played for clubs in Africa and Europe during an injury-blighted career.

He played for Bendel Insurance (1985-1987), Iwuanyanwu Nationale (1988-1991), Africa Sports (1992-1993), Maccabi Ironi Ashdod F.C. (1993-1994) and Antalyaspor (1994-1995). As a player, he was known for his powerful shots and ability in the air. Oliha retired at the age of 27, as a result of a serious knee injury.

He made a total of 31 appearances for the senior Nigeria national football team, scoring two goals. He made his international debut in 1990, in a game against Senegal and made his last appearance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, as a late substitute against Italy.

Oliha also played at the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship. He died about four months to his 45th birthday.