Nigerian football Legend Joe Erico Dies, Aged 74

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Former Nigerian goalkeeper and Coach Joe Erico has died, his wife Mosunmola confirmed to footballlive.

Erico died aged 74 at his home in Lagos.

 

Recounting the final hours of her husband, Mrs. Erico said the former Nigerian Coach had recently been discharged from hospital after a brief illness.

 

‘Tuesday he wasn’t feeling well and he was discharged Yesterday. We took him back home and we laughed and joked all day.

 

‘Later that night he ate dinner; we gave him cornflakes, before going ot bed. He had also complained of pains so he went to bed early. Early hours Today I went to his room to look him up, but found he was motionless.’

 

Erico was a goalkeeper and played for Electricity Connectors of Nigeria (ECN) before his invitation to the Green Eagles.

 

He went on to represent Nigeria at the 1976 AFCON in Ethiopia.

In his coaching career, Erico popularly called the Jogo Bonito exponent Managed Julius Berger FC and several junior national teams.

 

In 2002 Erico worked alongside Coaches Amodu Shuaibu and Stephen Keshi at the AFCON in Mali and qualified Nigeria for the World Cup in Korea/Japan.

 

However the trio were sacked and subsequently replaced; denied the chance to lead Nigeria as the first indigenous Coaches to the World Cup.

 

In 2018, during an interview on Brila FM, Erico revealed he cursed the NFF for the unjust treatment meted to the Super Eagles coaching crew.

 

“I swore for them in the NFA or NFF when we came back in 2002. They treated all of us; Amodu, Keshi and myself just any how. The thing is that they can’t handle the truth, speak it and you’d get blackballed.

‘What basically happened was that I was very angry at the time. I was an angry person. So I went back home, stripped naked and put a curse on Nigeria football.

 

Erico is survived by his wife and 4 kids, including Nigerian basketball star Eric Micheal.

 

The football Legend’s remains have been deposited at the Mortuary on Thursday.

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