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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:37 am 
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Rangers International football club Enugu best supporter? - Charles Okorokwo

Segun Martins, aka Sengunda.

One of the greatest Rangers supporters of all time, if not the best.

I heal a part of myself writing about you. I give myself back to myself. By so doing, I forgive myself.

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

The history of Rangers can not be written without a mention of his name. He was a supporter extraordinary. He abandoned his home and his bethrens in service of Rangers International football club of Enugu. He never married because he was married to Rangers. He withstood the most furious abuses from Stationery Stores and ACB football club fans because of his love for Rangers. He had so much to lose, and nothing to gain, and yet he persisted. In the end, and true to type, Rangers never abandoned him.

I was opportuned to ask him recently why he supported Rangers all his life. He looked at me, kind of confused. His answer? He said he doesn't know...I just love RANGERS he says. I met Segun in Rangers. He was already a supporter when I joined. Give or take, we are about the same age. So I deduce that he must have been a teenager when he started supporting Rangers. And he supported Rangers with, and until his last breath. I wasn't satisfied with his answer about why he was a life long supporter of Rangers. So I persisted. But he too found it uncomfortable and incredible that I was asking him this question after so many years. Because he had no answer, save that he just loved Rangers. Charlieee, as he calls me, "why you dey ask me this question after all these years?" I wanted to know for very personal reasons. But he was uncomfortable, so I let it be for another day. Or so I thought.

Most Rangers supporters supported Rangers for a reason.

I have spent the last half a century of my life understanding the why's of most of the the stuffs pertaining to me. But I have not been able to to suss out why a Yoruba man will abandon his kit and kin to follow the love of an Igbo man. To the extent that he never got married or had children. He dedicated his entire life to Rangers. He lived and breathed Rangers. He felt the pain, I believe, more than even the players or other Rangers fans when Rangers lost. I know this for a fact for I have seen him cry and heart broken whenever we lost. He reminds me of Ejike the Rangers masseur who was more tensed up more than the players before most big games. These two men cried more than the bereaved, so to speak. I shed tears writing this, because I couldn't fulfil one of the promises I made to this man. I could have, because I thought I still had time. But time, like they say, waits for no man. A simple promise I should have kept. He didn't ask for much, but in the rat race that is London, I forgot.

And then the man died. I didn't know for over a year. And when I accidentally found out, I wept.

Everytime I remember Segun, I feel distraught. It was a simple request, but I failed. And I absolutely don't like failing. I have only failed in one thing in my life. My inability to keep that promise to Segun was my second failure in life.

I first noticed Segun in the summer of 1980. I was an FRCN Bricawaves player watching a Rangers match. I thought he was a clown trying to be noticed, dancing to the gallery. It was hilarious. This Youruba man standing up to the intimidation of Stationery Stores fans. Being harrassed and made fun of. It didn't make sense to me, because I just wouldn't do that. I am Igbo. And the natural thing to do, being a war child, was to support my kit and kin no matter what. That was at that time. But subsequently, over the years, I have come to change my stance a little bit after becoming friends with members of his kit and kin. People who got my back over the years here in the UK. One such person was Dare Osunsanya In London for many years he got my back. And eventually hooking up with my Facebook friend Kayode 'Kaybaba' Ogundare live in Nigeria so many times has done a whole lot to change my perception of people like Segun. Dare and his wife Titi changed my perception about the relationship between the Yoruba man and the Igboman. But somewhere within me I still fight some demons. I still have that doubt. Were these guys just one offs? Was Segun a one off? One day I believe in the power of brotherhood irrespective of tribal affiliations. A couple of days later, or months later, something happens to shake that belief. As a Rangers player, I never forgave any player, or players that left Rangers, especially for some particular teams, even to this day. I still look at these players as saboteurs. You stay with your "brothers" no matter what. I never believed one could love another more than his brethren. So its easy to understand why I saw Segun Martins as an apparition and a joke back then, and somehow still now. He is still a kind of apparition in my mind today. I can't still believe who he was, and what he did; I mean giving his entire life to Rangers. And left with nothing, save for the joy when Rangers won, and his obvious sadness when Rangers lost.

Between madam Rangers, Upstairs and and Segun, I will choose Segun. For the first two, it was natural that they should be rooting for Rangers; they had nothing to lose. They had all to gain. They had no choice. Segun? Because he had so much to lose. And nothing to gain, save for the joy that he derived supporting his darling team.

Over the years, as my generation got acquainted and came to terms with Segun's support. He became one of the boys. He walked into the dinning room and ate with us, no questions asked. He looked stocky as a footballer anyway, so the hotel management never asked any questions. Segun could sleep in any of the players rooms at the hotel after a match as long as there is "nothing" happening in that room. He slept in my room once or twice. On one occasion, I remember vividly, we had lost a match and were driving back to the hotel in the Rangers bus. All the players were sad, and Ben Ugwu was crying. All of a sudden sudden, Benedict turned around and saw Segun Martins crying as well. Benedict asked Segun why he was crying. Segun asked him why he too was crying. It was one of the most awkward and hilarious moments we've had going back to the hotel after losing a match. They both suddenly stopped crying. I looked at Benedict, and he returned my gaze. And I know what he was thinking.

After so many years of Segun's diehard support for Rangers, true to type, and true to the Rangers spirit that we have all come to recognise, Rangers never abandoned Segun. Over the last twenty years, everytime I travelled back home I had the opportunity to watch Rangers training sessions and speak to Segun. We usually just chatted away. This picture was the last picture I personally took of Segun, and I didn't know it was going to be the last. He couldn't still tell me why he has followed Rangers everywhere all his life. Up to the extent that he became a Rangers football club official after so many years.

This from Rangers management recently; "because of his passionate support over the years, and knowledge of football players, Rangers management in their own usual wisdom appointed Segun as the South West co-ordinator, and later appointed him as the Rangers camp commandant when he moved to Enugu, and later on, in addition to that, he was made the clubs kit manager.

Segun Martins was a diligent, hardworking, committed, serious and passionate fan who became one of the Rangers officials even doing other peoples duties to ensure positive result and success for the club.

Segun took ill and was admitted to the Park Lane general hospital Enugu where he later died after some weeks. Rangers management took care of the hospital bills including mortuary payments and the wake keep at the Rangers camp, (I wish I was there) and conveyed his corpse to Lagos for burial. The Rangers management also sent numerous staffs to his burial to show commitment to a man who spent nearly all his life supporting and offering his services to Rangers.

The management's representatives, team manager Innocent Abana, the clubs PRO/ media director Foster Chime travelled to Lagos for Segun's burial which took place at the Yaba cemetery, Lagos, with the family at Ojigbo, Lagos."

Segun's love for Rangers was genuine with no strings attached. He did that for many years asking for nothing back. Only on a handful of occasions, may be once, because he had ran out of cash, did I see some players give him a couple of quid for transport money as we were about to hopp on the bus back to Enugu, and he back to Lagos.

My life is richer knowing that there were, and still are, beings like Mr Segun Martins.

Football clubs and players always talk about fans as the 12th man in a team. The likes of Segun, Upstairs and madam Rangers were the thirteenth men...and woman

Say a prayer for Segun, just in case he can hear us; for my sake, for Rangers International football club's sake.

Thank you Mr Segun Martins. I owed you this, if nothing else. Thank you for the part in my journey...our journey. People like you come once in a generation.

May your Soul rest in peace Segun Martins.

https://www.facebook.com/charles.okonkw ... 7538954702


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:42 am 
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A lovely story.
Much respect to Enugu Rangers for playing their part in his final days.
May he RIP.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 2:20 am
Posts: 54
amoky wrote:
Rangers International football club Enugu best supporter? - Charles Okorokwo

Segun Martins, aka Sengunda.

One of the greatest Rangers supporters of all time, if not the best.

I heal a part of myself writing about you. I give myself back to myself. By so doing, I forgive myself.

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

The history of Rangers can not be written without a mention of his name. He was a supporter extraordinary. He abandoned his home and his bethrens in service of Rangers International football club of Enugu. He never married because he was married to Rangers. He withstood the most furious abuses from Stationery Stores and ACB football club fans because of his love for Rangers. He had so much to lose, and nothing to gain, and yet he persisted. In the end, and true to type, Rangers never abandoned him.

I was opportuned to ask him recently why he supported Rangers all his life. He looked at me, kind of confused. His answer? He said he doesn't know...I just love RANGERS he says. I met Segun in Rangers. He was already a supporter when I joined. Give or take, we are about the same age. So I deduce that he must have been a teenager when he started supporting Rangers. And he supported Rangers with, and until his last breath. I wasn't satisfied with his answer about why he was a life long supporter of Rangers. So I persisted. But he too found it uncomfortable and incredible that I was asking him this question after so many years. Because he had no answer, save that he just loved Rangers. Charlieee, as he calls me, "why you dey ask me this question after all these years?" I wanted to know for very personal reasons. But he was uncomfortable, so I let it be for another day. Or so I thought.

Most Rangers supporters supported Rangers for a reason.

I have spent the last half a century of my life understanding the why's of most of the the stuffs pertaining to me. But I have not been able to to suss out why a Yoruba man will abandon his kit and kin to follow the love of an Igbo man. To the extent that he never got married or had children. He dedicated his entire life to Rangers. He lived and breathed Rangers. He felt the pain, I believe, more than even the players or other Rangers fans when Rangers lost. I know this for a fact for I have seen him cry and heart broken whenever we lost. He reminds me of Ejike the Rangers masseur who was more tensed up more than the players before most big games. These two men cried more than the bereaved, so to speak. I shed tears writing this, because I couldn't fulfil one of the promises I made to this man. I could have, because I thought I still had time. But time, like they say, waits for no man. A simple promise I should have kept. He didn't ask for much, but in the rat race that is London, I forgot.

And then the man died. I didn't know for over a year. And when I accidentally found out, I wept.

Everytime I remember Segun, I feel distraught. It was a simple request, but I failed. And I absolutely don't like failing. I have only failed in one thing in my life. My inability to keep that promise to Segun was my second failure in life.

I first noticed Segun in the summer of 1980. I was an FRCN Bricawaves player watching a Rangers match. I thought he was a clown trying to be noticed, dancing to the gallery. It was hilarious. This Youruba man standing up to the intimidation of Stationery Stores fans. Being harrassed and made fun of. It didn't make sense to me, because I just wouldn't do that. I am Igbo. And the natural thing to do, being a war child, was to support my kit and kin no matter what. That was at that time. But subsequently, over the years, I have come to change my stance a little bit after becoming friends with members of his kit and kin. People who got my back over the years here in the UK. One such person was Dare Osunsanya In London for many years he got my back. And eventually hooking up with my Facebook friend Kayode 'Kaybaba' Ogundare live in Nigeria so many times has done a whole lot to change my perception of people like Segun. Dare and his wife Titi changed my perception about the relationship between the Yoruba man and the Igboman. But somewhere within me I still fight some demons. I still have that doubt. Were these guys just one offs? Was Segun a one off? One day I believe in the power of brotherhood irrespective of tribal affiliations. A couple of days later, or months later, something happens to shake that belief. As a Rangers player, I never forgave any player, or players that left Rangers, especially for some particular teams, even to this day. I still look at these players as saboteurs. You stay with your "brothers" no matter what. I never believed one could love another more than his brethren. So its easy to understand why I saw Segun Martins as an apparition and a joke back then, and somehow still now. He is still a kind of apparition in my mind today. I can't still believe who he was, and what he did; I mean giving his entire life to Rangers. And left with nothing, save for the joy when Rangers won, and his obvious sadness when Rangers lost.

Between madam Rangers, Upstairs and and Segun, I will choose Segun. For the first two, it was natural that they should be rooting for Rangers; they had nothing to lose. They had all to gain. They had no choice. Segun? Because he had so much to lose. And nothing to gain, save for the joy that he derived supporting his darling team.

Over the years, as my generation got acquainted and came to terms with Segun's support. He became one of the boys. He walked into the dinning room and ate with us, no questions asked. He looked stocky as a footballer anyway, so the hotel management never asked any questions. Segun could sleep in any of the players rooms at the hotel after a match as long as there is "nothing" happening in that room. He slept in my room once or twice. On one occasion, I remember vividly, we had lost a match and were driving back to the hotel in the Rangers bus. All the players were sad, and Ben Ugwu was crying. All of a sudden sudden, Benedict turned around and saw Segun Martins crying as well. Benedict asked Segun why he was crying. Segun asked him why he too was crying. It was one of the most awkward and hilarious moments we've had going back to the hotel after losing a match. They both suddenly stopped crying. I looked at Benedict, and he returned my gaze. And I know what he was thinking.

After so many years of Segun's diehard support for Rangers, true to type, and true to the Rangers spirit that we have all come to recognise, Rangers never abandoned Segun. Over the last twenty years, everytime I travelled back home I had the opportunity to watch Rangers training sessions and speak to Segun. We usually just chatted away. This picture was the last picture I personally took of Segun, and I didn't know it was going to be the last. He couldn't still tell me why he has followed Rangers everywhere all his life. Up to the extent that he became a Rangers football club official after so many years.

This from Rangers management recently; "because of his passionate support over the years, and knowledge of football players, Rangers management in their own usual wisdom appointed Segun as the South West co-ordinator, and later appointed him as the Rangers camp commandant when he moved to Enugu, and later on, in addition to that, he was made the clubs kit manager.

Segun Martins was a diligent, hardworking, committed, serious and passionate fan who became one of the Rangers officials even doing other peoples duties to ensure positive result and success for the club.

Segun took ill and was admitted to the Park Lane general hospital Enugu where he later died after some weeks. Rangers management took care of the hospital bills including mortuary payments and the wake keep at the Rangers camp, (I wish I was there) and conveyed his corpse to Lagos for burial. The Rangers management also sent numerous staffs to his burial to show commitment to a man who spent nearly all his life supporting and offering his services to Rangers.

The management's representatives, team manager Innocent Abana, the clubs PRO/ media director Foster Chime travelled to Lagos for Segun's burial which took place at the Yaba cemetery, Lagos, with the family at Ojigbo, Lagos."

Segun's love for Rangers was genuine with no strings attached. He did that for many years asking for nothing back. Only on a handful of occasions, may be once, because he had ran out of cash, did I see some players give him a couple of quid for transport money as we were about to hopp on the bus back to Enugu, and he back to Lagos.

My life is richer knowing that there were, and still are, beings like Mr Segun Martins.

Football clubs and players always talk about fans as the 12th man in a team. The likes of Segun, Upstairs and madam Rangers were the thirteenth men...and woman

Say a prayer for Segun, just in case he can hear us; for my sake, for Rangers International football club's sake.

Thank you Mr Segun Martins. I owed you this, if nothing else. Thank you for the part in my journey...our journey. People like you come once in a generation.

May your Soul rest in peace Segun Martins.

https://www.facebook.com/charles.okonkw ... 7538954702


Good stuff but his name is Charles Okonkwo, not Okorokwo. These little things matter-attention to details!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:50 pm 
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A really nice story, thanks for copying it "amoky"


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:55 pm 
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I heard about him. Dedicated supporter. May he rest in peace.


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