Stephen Keshi – An African football legend

Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was a former Nigerian football defender and coach. He is one of the two Africans to have won the African nations cup as a player and coach. He had a career as a player that saw him play for clubs in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Malaysia, Belgium, France and the USA. As a manager he coached Nigeria, Togo and Mali, He won the African Nations cup for Nigeria in 2013 (Nigeria’s 3nd win of the competition). He is the only coach to have taken the Togolese team to the World cup championship till date. He is also the first African coach to successfully qualify two African nations (Nigeria and Togo) to the World Cup.

Stephen Keshi
Stephen Keshi holding the African nations cup

Keshi was born 23 January 1962 and died, He was married for 30 years and had 4 children. He hails from Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. He started playing professionally in Nigeria for ACB Football Club in 1979 and trained as a coach in the USA.

Football Playing Career

Years Team Country Appearances Goals
1979 ACB Lagos Nigeria 10 1
1980–1984 New Nigeria Bank Nigeria 42 4
1985 State Of Abijan Cote d’Ivoire 13 2
1986 Africa Sports Cote d’Ivoire 22 2
1986-1987 Lokeren Belgium 28 6
1987-1991 Andeletch Belgium 99 18
1991-1993 RC Strasbourg France 62 9
1993-1994 RWD Molenbeek Belgium 40 1
1995 CCV Hydra USA 20 1
1996 Sacramento Scorpions USA 16 3
1997-1998 Perlis FA Malaysia 34 4
Total 386 51

Football Managing Career

Country Appointed In charge until Duration Function Matches Win Draw Lose Players Used
Nigeria 114/15 (Oct 31, 2014) 15/16 (Jul 5, 2015) 247 Days Interim coach 3 2 0 1 35
Nigeria 11/12 (Nov 4, 2011) 14/15 (Oct 15, 2014) 1076 Days Manager 39 16 14 9 69
Togo 10/11 (Mar 25, 2011) 11/12 (Nov 3, 2011) 223 Days Interim coach 2 0 0 0 2
Mali 07/08 (Apr 2, 2008) 09/10 (Jan 28, 2010) 666 Days Manager 17 7 5 5 46
Togo 06/07 (Feb 5, 2007) 07/08 (Mar 31, 2008) 420 Days Manager
Togo 03/04 (Apr 17, 2004) 06/07 (Dec 13, 2006) 970 Days Manager 14 7 3 4 38
Nigeria 94/95 (Jul 1, 1994) 03/04 (Apr 15, 2004) 3576 Days Assistant coach
Stephen Keshi - Nigerian Coach
Stephen Keshi – Nigerian Coach

He died on his way to a hospital on 7th June 2016 in Benin City, aged 54. Nigerians and African football will miss him. May his soul rest in perfect peace.