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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:25 pm 
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Playing for Shooting is for those who can handle intrigues. Growing up as a kid there were many myths and legends perpetrated about the club and you just cannot help but allow some of them to help form your opinions about things. The team had a reputation for fetish and it was claimed that to play for Shooting you must be strong…I mean strong not in terms of physical strength..but in spiritual and perhaps emotional side of human existence.
I never for my life bargained I would play for Shooting..not when I saw what became of the likes of Moses Otolorin (an Ilorin guy) who was a legend with the club but was laid off, and would just hang about doing nothing for years before he got employed as a coach with the Kwara Poly. The stories of how Folorunsho Gambari died and the sight of Otolorin sort of enforced these stories one heard about the club.

So after the 88 season I got on offer to come to play for them, I was not keen, but there was a man in Ilorin who was a fan of bombers but also a die-hard Shooting fan, he was always taking players from Bombers to Shooting, he was probably making money from the venture. The man pestered me to no end with the offer to take me down to Ibadan, eventually he wore me down and I obliged him. But unknowing to the man I had already completed a deal with NNB, so I had an offer on hand.
Nevertheless, I went to Ibadan and met the then Chairman late Pa Ogunshina just to make him happy and of course to see what was on offer. It turned out that what was on offer was rubbish but I kept my cool, there was no need to lose it, I had something better, I did not lose anything. At the end of the discussion they gave me transport money to travel back to Ilorin, it was just enough to cover my fare for the journey down to Ibadan. As soon as I left the office I handed the money over to the man who brought me there, a way of washing my hands clean off the deal.

But as fate would have it when NNB got disbanded just a few days before the commencement of the 89 season, I was left in a lurch, I was advised by friends and colleagues to save face by not returning to Ilorin, since everyone knew I had left for NNB. So instead of returning to my old club in Ilorin I went down to Ibadan from Benin, I crawled back to Shooting… I can still recollect the coach/player at the time, Felix Owolabi aka Owoblow mocking me saying..sebi you wanted money. I kept my cool, I reserved my anger for the training to come, and he felt the full force of it during training. You see he was the player / manager then.

I can still remember the first training I had with the team, it was at the UCH football field, it was harmattan season, dry ground, patchy grass and dusty, not the type of surface you want to take a fall or dive, since it was very unforgiving in terms of the bruises that one would pick up. Well it served my intentions very well, as I proceeded to kick the living daylights out of the legend called Owolabi, he was stubborn alright and kept coming for more…I remember launching a well timed sliding tackle on him, it was perfect, the one you get the ball just as the naïve(we call it mugu) attacker puts his feet on the other end of the ball, unknowing that he was being set up. It was perfect in the sense that when you get the ball it will take the other person’s off the ground. Owoblow went up in the air, as far as I was concerned as a defender, it was the most beautiful sight I ever witnessed…one minute the legend called Owoblow was thought he had gotten the better of me, the next minute was doing a batman in the air..priceless!.
He ended up in the hedges by the side of the field, there was dust everywhere, the place looked like an accident scene. I heard he shout…f..cking player..are you a rugby player? .. as he muttered all manner of profanities while dusting himself and checking for bruises. Wetin concern me (What is my business with that)? I stood up, I had passed a message across, as a defender and a player in a new club, I had passed my message across. I am not one of those players who take yabbis lightly.
We kept on at each other , I remember the assistant coach the late Kennedy Darpah coming over to ask me if we had issues between us before. I said no , I have never met him before..i am only trying to impress you guys. Strangely he Darpah was one of the defenders that inspired me as a yound defender growing up..how come he cannot see himself in me…haha. They called off the training…that was how I made my mark on the coaching crew and my new colleagues.

Playing for Shooting was fun..well if you can handle the intrigues..i decided I was going to stay only one season. My decision was inspired by a number of reasons, to start with the club was in a bad state at the moment, leaving a division 2 club to play in the top league for a top club that was being run like a street club was not exactly the sort of ambition I had as a footballer. My position was further strengthened by another incident. You see I ran into an old player of the club who was like a senior player to me from my Kwasu Bombers days, Oba by name, one of those who came from Ilorin to play for Shooting earlier, he had a bad time there and was still smarting from it all. I remember him asking me what I was doing in Shooting, I explained my plight to him..he said ok..but please I beg you don’t stay more than a season. It was scary ..that sort of advice.

But there was another incident…we were to play NNPC Warri in a relegation battle in Ibadan, it was the last match of the season, we were in camp when on the eve of the match the Chairman called a meeting around dinner table. He informed us that he had been told that some of us had collected bribe from NNPC Warri to throw the match..i was named along with Sessy Eboigbe, a closer look at the rest of the players named showed we were all of Edo/Delta origin. The chairman told us that although he does not believe the claim, but if we feel affected by the accusation and we want to drop out of the team we could do so. I said I was going to play… On the match day 15 minutes into the game we were 4-0 up , the NNPC team walked off refusing to finish the game.

The next Monday in training when Coach Darpah (God bless his soul) walked up to me and pointed out a fan to me..and said that was the man who made the allegation. I almost fainted, he was an elderly man, always hanging around the team morning and evening, he looked respectable and I always treated him with utmost respect, I always greet him with a bow..and I had in the past given him some money knowing he was not employed and I thought was a devout fan of the club. I was freaked out, if someone like that could be that malicious..how safe am I as a player in such an environemnt? I remember walking over to him, while Darpah was pleading I should let go..i told the man a piece of my mind..at that point I was done with Shooting………..

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:39 pm 
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Oloye,

This story na real wa. I enjoyed reading it. Nothing like a story from an insider. You lived it and no one can tell it better. Thank you so much! I hope you don't mind -- I tweeted it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:57 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
Oloye,

This story na real wa. I enjoyed reading it. Nothing like a story from an insider. You lived it and no one can tell it better. Thank you so much! I hope you don't mind -- I tweeted it.

You are welcome...please do!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:58 pm 
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I will be unfair to Shooting if these two incidents were the only moments I can relate to in my stay with the club, it would be very very unfair. I had a great time in Ibadan. I have always had a soft spot for the city, my love for football was shaped right there, having been privileged to live there as a kid, I did my primary school and the first two years of high school in the city. I was privileged to attend a school that could be likened to a football academy for my high school, the well know football power house by name Methodist High School. I was privileged to be the school football mascot and part of the privileges was that even at such a tender age, I got to train with the school team and rub shoulders with the stars of the team at the time. My love for the game was birthed and cemented. When we left Ibadan for Ilorin, my love for Ibadan never left and it was always my dream to come back to live in the city.

I had a fantastic season with Shooting despite the problems the team was having financially. I came to Ibadan having done the pre-season training with NNB FC under the tutelage of the great coach Alabi Assien, I was in the form of my life, it was this form that I brought to Ibadan, it helped me to settle down and quickly establish myself in the team. One thing about playing for Shooting stars is that, when you look at the calibre of players that have passed through the team, you stay humble. These were legends not only at the club level, but also on the national scene. Players like Segun Odegbami, Muda Lawal,Idowu Otubunsin, Samuel Ojebode, Tunde Bamidele, Kunle Awesu, Jossy Lad, Niyi Akande, Dejo Fayemi, Best Ogendengbe, Zion Ogunfeyinmi, Felix Owolabi, Ogbein Fawole..to mention just a few. There was just no room for any false assumption of greatness or of being good enough when compared to these names. These guys were legends in every sense of it. To be accepted by the fans who have been blessed over the years to see legends like this in the colours of the team to me was far rewarding than any financial gains.
The fans of this great team save perhaps for the incident I mentioned earlier was great, one can go ahead and write a book on them. Shooting was an institution, with a followership that cut across the different strata of the society. Let me just say I had a good time with them. One occasion that would remain with me was my encounter with the legend called Baba Eleran (Gani Elekuru) of blessed memory. I was in awe of this great man in all of my stay with the team, a small man but with a profound love for the club, as a player seeing the passion in the faces of men like him makes defeat on the field unacceptable.

I remember a particular home game we had with Bendel Insurance, it was in the second half of the season, we were really struggling in the league, our standing in the table was poor and we could not afford to drop any points at home, not even a draw , never mind a loss. But in this match we were a goal down, everything we did to overcome this deficit proved abortive, until in the dying minutes of the match, and I went forward for a corner kick. It was a well take kick by the legend Muda Lawal, I met it squarely with the most lethal part of my body as a player..my head, the ball flew past the Insurance keeper into the net, it tied the game. I can still remember sitting in the bus after the game,and the legend called Baba Eleran came into the bus and beckoned me to come out..like I said earlier I was in awe of him.
The man took me behind the bus, I was all alone with him wondering what this was all about. Then the man dug his hands into his pants and brought out what looked like a sash, it was some sort of pouch used to keep money. He brought out this crumpled 5 naira note (At the time a 5 naira note would get you a decent meal and a bottle of beer). I was moved by this act, you see I don’t know much about the man called Baba Eleran other than him being a passionate follower of the game, from the way he had rolled up that note told me all I needed to know about his financial condition.
To me that was the best financial gain the game rewarded me with..every time I relive that moment, tears always well up in my eyes. I was able to appreciate football from the position of a player, my love for the game is from the position of a player…but truth be told , I will never be able to appreciate the love and the passion from the position of a fan…Therefore this gesture from this great man taught me a lesson, gave me an insight into the world of football fans,no player no matter how gifted or blessed they may find themselves, they must never take the love and adulation of fans for granted. There is something almost spiritual about it.

The fans of all the clubs I played for would testify one thing about me..the respect I have for them….it was inspired by this awesome gesture.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:21 pm 
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Talking about my social life in Ibadan as a player, perhaps one need to look generally at the social life of a group of young men, with fame, and some money to burn. Although we did not have the sort of money bandied around today, but back then we had enough of goodwill to expend. From the time I landed in Ibadan, I knew I was there for only a short time, it was my first season in the elite division and my resolve was to concentrate on the game and make the best out of it. I was determined to use name Shooting as a ladder to step into better things. It was only a matter of time before my resolve was tested. I stayed in the club house located at Jericho at the time, I was in the midst of some great guys who had an amazing zeal for life…geez my background did not prepare me for some of the antics some of these guys would get onto. I remember with great fondness Bright Benson, Sessy Eboigbe(rip), Benjamin Apena, Mufutau to mention a few of the guys that I quickly bonded with in the camp and team. Of the lot Bright was the brightest, he was the soul and the life of the camp.

Bright was born of a German father a mixed race so to say , if I can be pardoned for my lack of political correctness. He grew up in the north as he spoke fluent hausa, but then Bright also speaks yoruba language effortlessly. He got away with murder. He was good looking and because he was oyinbo…..he attracted attention easily , many would say derogatory things(trust my Yoruba folks) about him believing he does not speak the language…Bright would laugh and proceed to answer them in fluent Yoruba. It was fun going to the local market at Dugbe with Bright, he had those women under his spell. It usually starts with ‘e wa wo oyinbo ni oja’..come and see a white man in the market. When it comes to haggling, they would try to cheat him, but as soon as he starts telling jokes in Yoruba even flirting with them…he would get anything he wanted from them. We would return to the camp with bargain buy. Anywhere you went with Bright, you were a winner.
Bright came to Shooting from Jos, geez one more thing about Bright…he had no worries in this world. Bright would go through his salary in 2 or 3 days…..he would spend the rest of the month, freeloading. He was well liked by everyone so no trouble here, he wanted to turn us all into communist. He had this idea of sharing everything including women…hmmm this was where Bright nearly got me into trouble. One Saturday night, we had just played a friendly match or so I cannot remember vividly, we got some bonus for the match, got back to the camp and we were bored. Suddenly Bright jumped up and suggested we go to a club and get some girls.

I was naïve as they come, sheepishly I tagged along with them. There was this club in Mokola, one of the oldest club in the Ibadan. They had all been frequenting the place, for me it was my first time. Now I want you to know that I am not a green horn when it comes to attending parties, but at that stage in my life I’d never visited a club before, I was a veteran of night parties from my University days, but never had the experience of a night club, so my fate was in the hands of these veterans. We made our way in and in time we were all fixed up with girls or so I thought. Bright suggested we leave since our mission was accomplished, we trouped out of the club hired a bus. We got back to the camp, naughty! Naughty!! Bright suggested we all bring our mattresses to the main lobby of the camp (When you hear of players getting into trouble, it does not get any real than this)…thankfully we were not yet advanced as Bright, his dad’s genes were too advanced for us at the time, we declined his offer. Everyone hurriedly went into their respective rooms…..leaving Bright all dejected and disappointed by our lack of sense of adventure.
Like they say whatever happened in the room between a man and woman stays in the room, well except this was not the case. I can still remember the name of the beauty that I was saddled with…..No I won’t disclose it. She told me she was hungry and needed something to eat. You see, back then I used to cook, but I hardly eat it, I just love the feel of having food in the house, I had a pot of soup filled with meat. I told her to go ahead and make herself something to eat. I suspected something was wrong immediately, when this girl proceeded to empty all the meat in my soup, and ate everything…I asked myself what kind of girl does this on her first outing with a boy. I got my answer shortly after. The girl finished eating, did not even bother to wash up, just packed everything and dumped the plates in the washing basin, then sat down and asked me…... ”Shey you are ready to pay me?” See me, see wahala!!!!!

I was stunned…pay what I stuttered? Agh agh oga please don’t start that one oh. I was too shocked and embarrassed to even argue with her as soon I realised the mess I’d gotten myself into. Off I rushed to Bright to tell him what I thought was an aberration….with a shrug of the shoulder, he answered, just give her anything. I went back into the room, now sweating….. How much? I asked her, She said 20 for the night….she was threatening to make trouble. I quietly emptied my wallet; luckily I had enough to cover her demands. I was just too happy to end the drama there, it was too late to send her away, those who know Jericho in Ibadan would understand why…..or maybe it was the gentleman’s side of me that does not know how to handle the situation. I left her in the room, I went to sleep on the couch in the lounge.
The next morning the camp was in uproar, I went back into my room, the gal came out to find out what was wrong, she went into the other rooms to check out on her friends…they were not paid for the services they rendered overnight, some were paid way below the agreed price. Some of them had gotten into fisticuffs with the lad in an attempt to secure what was due them. She hurriedly came back to the room, and proceeded to kneel down and started begging me for forgiveness. She was probably uncomfortable with the ease with which I paid her and refused to say anything or touch her. I told her it was okay, she begged and begged …I told her not to worry there was nothing tom forgive and she could keep the money. It was already morning, I just wanted her to leave…nothing in my upbringing prepared me for such an embarrassing situation.

I just wanted to leave the camp that morning because I sensed trouble was brewing with the others, so I told her I was off to training and she could leave. She made me promise to come with the guys to the club the next weekend, she promised me a weekend to remember. She said she was not going to leave unless I give her my consent. I nodded in agreement….. just anything to get her to leave. I never showed up at the club. It was the last time I went out with the boys…..these were veterans in the game. I got myself a steady girlfriend as a result of this incident, one that would keep me out of this kind of mischief. There is a reason why some clubs encourage young players to get married…..with all that hormones running wild, trouble is not far away. Till I left Shooting I cannot remember ever attending any social function.
Looking back it was a learning curve, one of the traps that a young player can fall into especially when leaving home for the first time and suddenly faced with all the freedom and the power that comes with being a sports star..........


Just testing the waters by the way...i hope and pray i can finish my memoirs. I hope you have all enjoyed it. :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:29 pm 
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:thumb: :thumb: Egbon I see you have made the decision. Go for it!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:35 pm 
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:clap: :clap: :clap:

You know......forever and a day you be my man......both here on CE and beyond!

Top dude!! :thumb:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:40 pm 
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Chei...Oloye, I no go meet my deadline with all these stories of yours. I dey enjoy them well.

Abeg more tories....Kai, my belle dey sweet me well

Baba Oloye...You are the man !

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:47 pm 
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Wow Oga Oloye.

Words are not enough. Many thanks.

PS. That Baba Eleran piece in this narrative was/is very moving.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:57 pm 
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I love this. I want some more....Oliver Twist style. :thumbs:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:20 pm 
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Quality stories! I enjoyed the read. Oloye! No be ashewo gist we want o! Give us stories of groupies! Those girls that didn't require payment! :taunt:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:17 pm 
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Gone are the days in those days in Ibadan and shooting stars. When can we have those feelings again in our football ? I've always love the team.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:32 pm 
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Bros Oloye,

That story on Baba Eleran makes one emotional. If you guys were no ready to die on the field for guys like him then you have no business playing. Na real wa! Really, really exciting to read these stories.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:39 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
Bros Oloye,

That story on Baba Eleran makes one emotional. If you guys were no ready to die on the field for guys like him then you have no business playing. Na real wa! Really, really exciting to read these stories.

Prof. That encounter with the great man left a mark on me forever....he was truly a football legend.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:40 pm 
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bushboy wrote:
Quality stories! I enjoyed the read. Oloye! No be ashewo gist we want o! Give us stories of groupies! Those girls that didn't require payment! :taunt:

You be crase man...groupie ko,gangup ni.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:42 pm 
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Babafad wrote:
:clap: :clap: :clap:

You know......forever and a day you be my man......both here on CE and beyond!

Top dude!! :thumb:

Eniyan mi atata... :thumbs:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:42 pm 
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oloye wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
Bros Oloye,

That story on Baba Eleran makes one emotional. If you guys were no ready to die on the field for guys like him then you have no business playing. Na real wa! Really, really exciting to read these stories.

Prof. That encounter with the great man left a mark on me forever....he was truly a football legend.


I remember reading about his death and thinking that it was indeed a critical moment in history of Shooting Stars. Right there with the passing of Chief Lekan Salami. Your mention of Eleran in your story introduces him and who he is to all the readers.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:16 am 
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whaoo! :clap: :clap: :clap: .....OLOYE
what a richly endowed mind. That club you mentioned at Mokola, was very close to our home, they disturbed our sleep ceaselessly, night after night.
what made worse is, the owner is my dads nephew, during daytime I looked at that place like a pit of hell. I was glad when heard they shut it down.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:27 am 
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:thumbs:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:10 am 
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Oloye wow.......!!!! :clap:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:32 am 
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solo wrote:
whaoo! :clap: :clap: :clap: .....OLOYE
what a richly endowed mind. That club you mentioned at Mokola, was very close to our home, they disturbed our sleep ceaselessly, night after night.
what made worse is, the owner is my dads nephew, during daytime I looked at that place like a pit of hell. I was glad when heard they shut it down.

Na lie so they closed that place down, that place has been there since i was a kid, i am still trying to remember the name. Everytime i pass through Mokola i always look out for the place because it was part of my childhood memories of Ibadan....now Mokola wont be the same. I knew that place was in trouble with the rate at which churches were springing up all over the place in Ibadan. They have cast out the demons out of that place....rest for Mokola residents at last.

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.... I believe in God. I try to be a good man so He can have a bit of time to give me a hand when I need it - Jose Mourinho


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:37 am 
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Enugu II wrote:
oloye wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
Bros Oloye,

That story on Baba Eleran makes one emotional. If you guys were no ready to die on the field for guys like him then you have no business playing. Na real wa! Really, really exciting to read these stories.

Prof. That encounter with the great man left a mark on me forever....he was truly a football legend.


I remember reading about his death and thinking that it was indeed a critical moment in history of Shooting Stars. Right there with the passing of Chief Lekan Salami. Your mention of Eleran in your story introduces him and who he is to all the readers.

Baba as i chose to call him is one of a kind. In the course of my career i came across several fans with this manner of spirit with the diferent clubs. Aghhh thinking of fans , i have an idea...the ladies who loved and followed nigerian football. I mean these were hardcore lovers of the game and they gave themselves body,spirit and soul. Chai the likes of Madam Berger, Stella the Super Eagles mascot, Amaka of Rangers International...chai my memoirs wont be complete without giving them a mention. Wherever they are today, God in his infinite mercies bless them! :thumbs:

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"There is big pressure at this club as you cannot be like the manager at Arsenal and ask for five years to try and to win one trophy" - Jose Mourinho

.... I believe in God. I try to be a good man so He can have a bit of time to give me a hand when I need it - Jose Mourinho


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:34 am 
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Abeg Oloye gist us about the secondary school games and greater tomorrow with Gomez:

Players like:

Jomo
Saviour Ekanem
Piazza
Ilerika
Ceaser
Allan Ball
Pasarella
Tunde Odubola
Kevin Keegan
Hector

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