Nigerian football family was once again thrown into mourning on Monday when the news broke of the death of Lobi Stars head coach Solomon Ogbeide, on a day the team would host Wikki Tourists in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match.
News of Ogbeide’s death filtered in on social media about fifteen minutes to kick off of the Match Day 21 game at the Aper Aku Stadium with many concerned Nigerians wondering why the team still went ahead with their game as scheduled.
Unknown to many though and in an apparent move not to gain undue advantage over their competitors, Lobi Stars management team kept the news of Ogbeide’s demise early on Monday from their players so as not to leave them in a poor mental state for the game.
“They didn’t tell us anything before the match, in fact at half time, we didn’t know anything,” Lobi Stars strong man Kelly Kester told www.aclsports.com on Monday night.
“During our pre-match meeting in the morning, they told us that he (Ogbeide) won’t be coming to the stadium because the doctor said he needed lots of rest,” added the former Enyimba defensive midfielder.
In Ogbeide’s absence, his first assistant Evans Ogenyi took charge of the team and they ground out a 2-1 win over Wikki Tourists, striker Sikiru Alimi netting the winner as they moved closer to Top 3 spot.
Ogbeide is popularly known as “Epa“, a name for an elderly person in some parts of Southern Nigeria and was the oldest coach in the NPFL before his demise on Monday morning. He was said to have collapsed and was diagnosed to have had “Low Blood Pressure” which culminates in his death.
Ogbeide has managed various NPFL sides in the past including Bayelsa United, Sunshine Stars, Warri Wolves to mention but a few.