Nigerian first goalkeeper dies at 90

Ibiam popularly known as ‘The Black Magnet’ or ‘The Cat’, played for the first Nigeria senior national team known as the Red Devils.

 

First Nigerian goalkeeper, Sam Henshaw Ibiam has died at the age of 90, several reports say.

Ibiam popularly known as ‘The Black Magnet’ or ‘The Cat’, played for the first Nigeria senior national team known as the Red Devils.

It is claimed that he conceded just five goals in his nine years of as the Red Devils goalkeeper before he retried from international football in 1958.

He came to limelight after featuring for the Port Harcourt XI team that got to the semi-finals of the old Governor's Cup from 1947 to 1949, thus leading to his call-up to represent Nigeria in the tour of the United Kingdom.

Ibiam was awarded a trophy at the First National Sports Award for Sports Heroes and Heroines of Yesteryear in 1987.

After his retirement from football in 1960, Sam served as head coach for the Aba XI team before proceeding to handle the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation team from 1965 to 1967.

The 90-year-old former goalkeeper was said to have died on Wednesday, December 2.

News of Ibiam's death has also been confirmed by the general secretary of the  Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Sanusi Mohammed.

“We heard from third party source, pulled a call through and his son confirmed it. For us, we thank God for a worthy life he lived," Mohammed said.

“His records in the first national team remain sterling and excellent. Certainly, we shall participate in the burial arrangements by the time the family comes up with the programme of activities.

"It is our prayer that God will grant him eternal rest. We also send our condolences to his family.”

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