BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Sebastine Broderick-Imasuen who led the Golden Eaglets to the milestone win of the inaugural U16 World Cup in China has died this Wednesday morning.
One of the players he handled at the 1989 U17 World Cup in Scotland, Babajide Oguntuashe first broke the news before another confirmation came from Harrison Jalla, the Chairman, Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) Task Force through a WhatsApp post.
Jalla quoted family sources for the death of the iconic coach who had been bed-ridden for some months now. He reportedly suffered from stroke and diabetes.
The late coach was one of the players that represented Nigerian football team at the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968 and famously scored from a free kick to win the then Challenge Cup for Bendel Insurance in 1972.
As a coach, he was the head of a three-man crew that included Bala Shamaki and Christian Chukwu when the Nigerian team shocked the world in China in 1985. He led the team again in 1987 to Canada and got to the final before losing through penalty shoot-out to the then Soviet Union.
At the third attempt in the competition, his team lost to Saudi Arabia by penalty kick in the quarter finals.
At another time, he was the assistant to Clemens Westerhof in the Super Eagles.
He began his football career in 1956 when as a student, he featured for the Onitsha team in the Challenge Cup.
In 1962, he joined the then ECN and was part of the Challenge Cup winning side of 1965. He was invited to the national team in 1962 but only became a regular in the build-up to the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
He was noted for his curving shots, especially from free kick situations.
Popularly called ‘Sabara’, his biggest moment as a club player was when he scored the winning goal in the 3-2 victory for Bendel Insurance in the replay of the 1972 Challenge Cup with Mighty Jets of Jos at the Liberty Stadium – the first time the national cup final was held outside Lagos.
He later became a coach and handled the Midwest junior side to win the gold medal at the inaugural National Sports Festival in 1973.