The fact that Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria’s top goal scorer and one-time African Football player Of The Year, is dead is sad news. What makes it even more sad was that he died of a mental illness and broke. Left to pick up the pieces are 3 former wives and three children. He died yesterday in a private hospital in Ibadan. Yekini will be buried today at Ira, Kwara State. One-time national teammate of Yekini, Ike Shorunmu, said he was informed by the mother of one of Yekini’s children that the agressive striker was dead.”It’s so sad but the truth of the matter is that our dear Rashidi Yekini is dead,”Shorunmu lamented. ”He died in a private hospital in Ibadan,” he said.”The woman who had a daughter for Yekini told me this sad news and told me that he would be buried today in Ira, Kwara State,” said Shorunmu.
Kwara State’s Commissioner for Information, Tunji Moronfoye, spoke after the death of the football star, saying,”….he was a close friend of mine, a relative of sort, having the same root from Kwara State. We are second cousins in fact. He died of depression. When Yekini’s football career ended, he had problems adjusting with life outside the spotlight. Stories from sources say that he lived a solitary life and was mostly unhappy. Many celebrities and government officials prayed for Rashidi Yekini and his family. Yekini will be buried today according to Muslim rites in Ira, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Rashidi Yekini was Nigeria’s national record goal scorer, netting 37 goals in 58 appearances. He represented Nigeria at the 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994 Africa Nations Cup finals. He also represented Nigeria at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.Yekini played for Nigeria at the USA’94 and France ’98 World Cups finals. In 1993, he was crowned African Footballer Of The Year; the first time a Nigerian would be so honored. Segun Odegbami, former Nigeria’s captain, expressed shock over the demise of Yekini, saying that it was unbelievable.”It can’t be true, I can’t believe it, Rashidi dead,? he exclaimed.His neighbours said Yekini had been taken out of his Ibadan residence by relatives when it was obvious that he was finding life difficult.”He had been ill and about two weeks ago, his relatives moved him to an undisclosed location, in order to provide better treatment for the ailing star.
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