Hero Spirit of ‘94: Stephen Keshi

Clive Brunskill/ALLSPORT
Although injury limited his exploits at the biggest football party in 1994, the Big Boss's influence was felt

It would be beyond disrespectful to reminisce about the Nigeria side of 1994 without mentioning the late Stephen Keshi.

One of the older members of Clemens Westerhof’s history-making side, the unassuming central defender was, however, beset by injuries throughout the competition and that saw him play just one game – the 2-0 win over Greece – as the Super Eagles made it to the Round of 16 in their first appearance at the global showpiece.

Having been a part of the Eagles’ team for over a decade, it would have been a proud moment for Keshi when he led out the side against the Greeks and the fact that a win was secured, with a clean sheet no less, would certainly have pleased the defender.

The injuries over the course of the tournament would have done little to dampen his buzz and he’d been proud of his teammates’ achievements in his absence.

The Big Boss made 64 appearances for the Super Eagles and found the back of the net on nine occasions.

He will fondly be remembered for leading the national side to their third Africa Cup of Nations success in 2013, which came almost two decades after their success in 1994 and after several near misses. That overdue achievement will see Keshi’s name etched in the fans’ memories for years to come.


GFX Hero Stephen Keshi