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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:45 am 
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 1:15 am 
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Never got to see him play. Can somebody describe how good he was and which of our recents legends is he most comparable to Thought he was a DM but some say he way a playmaker.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 1:49 am 
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EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Never got to see him play. Can somebody describe how good he was and which of our recents legends is he most comparable to Thought he was a DM but some say he way a playmaker.




Burst onto the scene in Maroc 88. I think he was in the 2nd division in Germany, and the fact that Manfred Hoener (Sp) was German helped with catapult him to the team. I had not heard of him before Maroc 88. Scored a great goal in the group phase against the Plantanians.

He was also not like the typical SE player as he was a graduate & had a Masters. As a player, I could compare him a bit to Sly Igbonu. Direct attacking midfielder, except that Igbonu is probably more attack minded, and I think Okwaraji was more of a central midfielder. I am tempted to also say Sunday Mba of 2013, but Mba is also more attack minded. Tough to mention Etebo as well, as Etebo has more motor compared than I remember Okwaraji having. Ademola Adeshina maybe? Let the old heads here contribute.

Also remember the day he died. He was not really playing well that day. It was a bad day all around as a few fans died in the National stadium due to overcrowding (something that seemed bound to happen in Uyo, b4 the matches were moved, with the poor planning & execution). I just remember Okwaraji on the floor & some teammates (I think Eguavoen) waving at the bench for help.


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:55 am 
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I saw him play, he was miles ahead of all those players you mentioned. He was very similar to Michael Essien of 2006 world cup

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 3:38 am 
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Bigpokey24 wrote:
I saw him play, he was miles ahead of all those players you mentioned. He was very similar to Michael Essien of 2006 world cup

Spot on. The Cameroonians morned his death, but were happy he was out of the equation.


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 3:38 am 
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BP. Okwaraji was nowhere as aggressive as Essien, but there is no point going further with this.

Let's just honour the memory of a fallen hero.


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 3:54 am 
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Maroc 88 was my first nations cup. It was not a very good Naija ream but Okwaraji was the star with his dazzling ball skills on a struggling team. I will compare him to JJ Okocha, Iwobi or Ikpeba, there was an Ajebuta feel to him I thought.


Last edited by oscar52 on Sun May 19, 2019 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 8:31 am 
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truetalk wrote:
BP. Okwaraji was nowhere as aggressive as Essien, but there is no point going further with this.

Let's just honour the memory of a fallen hero.

Nah your shelenge..I was trying to correct you on your player comparisons


..i saw Sam at Souel 88, Maroc , 88, he was one of the big players in his European club, saw him in Lagos vs Angola 1-0... 12 other Nigerians according to the official reports passed away due to over crowding at the main bowl(going forward the stadium capacity was reduced) we missed Sam during the conclusion of WCQs90...lost to Cameroon 1-0 in Yaounde.....after beating them 2 nill I think in Ibadan....

He was missed big time ....

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:09 am 
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I saw him against Algeria in Enugu in 88 for Olympic qualifiers I believe. Not one of his best games but he still had something electric about him.
The enduring memory will be his early goal and celebration against Cameroon in the 88 Nations Cup.
Interesting reading other people’s opinions of his style and position. I would have put him more in a Victor Moses bracket. Lots of energy, lots of skill, an eye for goal. He certainly was right sided and yet two-footed.
And yes, if he hadn’t had died, I do think we would have made it to Italia 90. As it was we came pretty darn close.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:20 am 
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Bigpokey24 wrote:
truetalk wrote:
BP. Okwaraji was nowhere as aggressive as Essien, but there is no point going further with this.

Let's just honour the memory of a fallen hero.

Nah your shelenge..I was trying to correct you on your player comparisons


..i saw Sam at Souel 88, Maroc , 88, he was one of the big players in his European club, saw him in Lagos vs Angola 1-0... 12 other Nigerians according to the official reports passed away due to over crowding at the main bowl(going forward the stadium capacity was reduced) we missed Sam during the conclusion of WCQs90...lost to Cameroon 1-0 in Yaounde.....after beating them 2 nill I think in Ibadan....

He was missed big time ....


Now you're going to make me lecture your ignorant behind.

Sam did not play against Cameroon in Ibadan.

The sole difference in that WCQ was Peter Rufai. Westerhorf came & I think Rufai missed the 1st callup & Westerhorf did not invite him again. I think this lasted for over 5 years (till 1994). Rufai actually gave up professional football at some point in between & went to graduate school.

This was the lineup against Cameroon in Ibadan.

While losing away to Cameroon hurt (Uche Okafor was poor & Eboigbe got his red), we lost that WCQ to poor goalkeeping away to Angola (wind-aided goal) and Gabon.

If we had Rufai, Keshi & Yekini for all the games in that qualifier, we would have breezed through those qualifiers. Sam was not an anchor of the team.

10/06/1989, Ibadan, Liberty Stadium, 50,000
NIGERIA 2-0 CAMEROON [HT 1-0]
Scorers: Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia

Nigeria: Peter Rufai, Augustine Eguavoen (Ademola Adeshina 72'), Godwin Ekeh,
Stephen Keshi, Uwe Andrew, Ayo Ogunlana, Friday Elaho, Samson Siasia, Esim Etim,
Wole Odegbami, Richard Owubokiri
Referee: El-Din (Egypt)
Cards: Friday Elaho [Y 55'], Ayo Ogunlana [Y 63'], Augustine Eguavoen [Y 70']


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:58 am 
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truetalk wrote:
Bigpokey24 wrote:
truetalk wrote:
BP. Okwaraji was nowhere as aggressive as Essien, but there is no point going further with this.

Let's just honour the memory of a fallen hero.

Nah your shelenge..I was trying to correct you on your player comparisons


..i saw Sam at Souel 88, Maroc , 88, he was one of the big players in his European club, saw him in Lagos vs Angola 1-0... 12 other Nigerians according to the official reports passed away due to over crowding at the main bowl(going forward the stadium capacity was reduced) we missed Sam during the conclusion of WCQs90...lost to Cameroon 1-0 in Yaounde.....after beating them 2 nill I think in Ibadan....

He was missed big time ....


Now you're going to make me lecture your ignorant behind.

Sam did not play against Cameroon in Ibadan.

The sole difference in that WCQ was Peter Rufai. Westerhorf came & I think Rufai missed the 1st callup & Westerhorf did not invite him again. I think this lasted for over 5 years (till 1994). Rufai actually gave up professional football at some point in between & went to graduate school.

This was the lineup against Cameroon in Ibadan.

While losing away to Cameroon hurt (Uche Okafor was poor & Eboigbe got his red), we lost that WCQ to poor goalkeeping away to Angola (wind-aided goal) and Gabon.

If we had Rufai, Keshi & Yekini for all the games in that qualifier, we would have breezed through those qualifiers. Sam was not an anchor of the team.

10/06/1989, Ibadan, Liberty Stadium, 50,000
NIGERIA 2-0 CAMEROON [HT 1-0]
Scorers: Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia

Nigeria: Peter Rufai, Augustine Eguavoen (Ademola Adeshina 72'), Godwin Ekeh,
Stephen Keshi, Uwe Andrew, Ayo Ogunlana, Friday Elaho, Samson Siasia, Esim Etim,
Wole Odegbami, Richard Owubokiri
Referee: El-Din (Egypt)
Cards: Friday Elaho [Y 55'], Ayo Ogunlana [Y 63'], Augustine Eguavoen [Y 70']


Amazing. Forgot Etim was still starting games for us as late at 89.

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MY NAME IS WAKA-MAN, and YES, I AM A CHELSEA FAN. Please don't hate me - I was fan when David Ellery dashed Cantona two penalties as Man U beat us 4-0 in the FA Cup final. So I've paid my dues.


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:54 pm 
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truetalk wrote:
Bigpokey24 wrote:
truetalk wrote:
BP. Okwaraji was nowhere as aggressive as Essien, but there is no point going further with this.

Let's just honour the memory of a fallen hero.

Nah your shelenge..I was trying to correct you on your player comparisons


..i saw Sam at Souel 88, Maroc , 88, he was one of the big players in his European club, saw him in Lagos vs Angola 1-0... 12 other Nigerians according to the official reports passed away due to over crowding at the main bowl(going forward the stadium capacity was reduced) we missed Sam during the conclusion of WCQs90...lost to Cameroon 1-0 in Yaounde.....after beating them 2 nill I think in Ibadan....

He was missed big time ....


Now you're going to make me lecture your ignorant behind.

Sam did not play against Cameroon in Ibadan.

The sole difference in that WCQ was Peter Rufai. Westerhorf came & I think Rufai missed the 1st callup & Westerhorf did not invite him again. I think this lasted for over 5 years (till 1994). Rufai actually gave up professional football at some point in between & went to graduate school.

This was the lineup against Cameroon in Ibadan.

While losing away to Cameroon hurt (Uche Okafor was poor & Eboigbe got his red), we lost that WCQ to poor goalkeeping away to Angola (wind-aided goal) and Gabon.

If we had Rufai, Keshi & Yekini for all the games in that qualifier, we would have breezed through those qualifiers. Sam was not an anchor of the team.

10/06/1989, Ibadan, Liberty Stadium, 50,000
NIGERIA 2-0 CAMEROON [HT 1-0]
Scorers: Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia

Nigeria: Peter Rufai, Augustine Eguavoen (Ademola Adeshina 72'), Godwin Ekeh,
Stephen Keshi, Uwe Andrew, Ayo Ogunlana, Friday Elaho, Samson Siasia, Esim Etim,
Wole Odegbami, Richard Owubokiri
Referee: El-Din (Egypt)
Cards: Friday Elaho [Y 55'], Ayo Ogunlana [Y 63'], Augustine Eguavoen [Y 70']

You are the ignorant one :rotf: catching feelings ..smh ..comparing Sam to iwobi :rotf: we dey talk sam , you begin deviate to Rufai :rotf: oh my ..focus

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:01 pm 
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Sam was just a different class of player. His Moustache, dreds, style of play, composure always reminds me of Ruud Gullit. He just had an aura about him. He was special.

Interestingly what stood out most about him was his patriotism, commitment to the national team and the shirt.

He will not be forgotten...


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:22 pm 
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LONGER VERSION


Last edited by onwuatuegwu on Sun May 19, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:25 pm 
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