The burial ceremonies for the late doyen of Nigerian football, Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo in Calabar at the end of last week brought with it a pleasant surprise: the confirmation that the captain of the first Nigeria’s national football team is still alive and kicking.
An elite crowd of the nation’s leading football administrators, led by CAF and FIFA Executive Committees member, Dr Amos Adamu trooped to the house of the 88-year-old ‘Skipper’ Etim Henshaw in Calabar, to accord him due recognition on the margin of the funeral rites for his illustrious kinsman.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Adamu gave thanks to Almighty God for the life of Pa Henshaw, who captained the UK Tourists in their excellent expedition to the United Kingdom in 1949.
“We give God glory for your life. Not many people with whom you played are still alive. You and your colleagues played barefooted, in climate that you have never previously experienced, and brought honour to this country. Your performance that year created the fighting spirit that the Super Eagles of today boasts of.
“Calabar is a historical place when it comes to Nigerian football: This is where football was first played in Nigeria; this is where the first Nigeria captain hailed from and this is the birthplace of the first Nigerian member of CAF and FIFA,” said Adamu, who is also the President of West African Football Union (WAFU) and Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC).