Football lovers on Wednesday took turns to mourn the death of Nigeria’s ex-defender of Super Eagles, Yisha Shofoluwe who died on Tuesday night at the age of 53.
The former international nick-named ‘Dean of Defence’ by ace commentator, Ernest Okonkwo died few days after being diagnosed of cerebral atrophy.
In his reaction, the minister of youth and sports development Mr. Sunday Dare expressed deep shock and sadness over the demise of the former international.
“The news of Yisa Sofoluwe’s death is quite devastating and one that hit me like a tornado. He was a great, committed, disciplined, humble and patriotic player. He came ahead of his time. No wonder he was nicknamed he Dean of Defence by ace commentator Ernest Okonkwo.
“My condolences and prayers goes to his wife, children, teammates and the football community. His death is a huge loss. Rest in peace Dean of Defence,” he said.
President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick also said he was at a loss after receiving report that Sofoluwe had breathed his last just when the process had been activated for a medical operation on him.
“It is another sad, sad day. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were lamenting the loss of former goalkeeper and Coach Joseph Erico. Now, Yisa Sofoluwe. That man was a gem in the green-and-white and did his very best for Nigeria whenever he was on the field. Personally, I have sweet memories of Yisa Sofoluwe.
“It is more painful that he left just when help was coming to him from everywhere and the process was on to rectify his medical condition. We loved him but God loves him more. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Dahiru Sadi who was Sofoluwe’s team mate in Abiola Babes said his sudden demise is heart breaking.
“Sofoluwe was a good man. We started together right from U-20 national team, the Super Eagles and then Abiola Babes.
“Even last week, I spoke with him and he sounded well. There was no sign that he would pass on so soon.
“So when our friends in Lagos called to break the sad news to me, I was devastated. I think help didn’t get to him in good time,” he said.