Two former stars of Nigeria’s domestic league, Taiwo Oloyede and Shola Akinwale have joined in morning the death of former Stationery Stores FC of Lagos defender, Ebiytimi Collins, aged 54.
Oloyede, who captained Stores’ Lagos rivals, Julius Berger FC at a point, and Akinwale, who was a striker with Shooting Stars of Ibadan, said they have fond memories of the late ex-defender, aka Barbwire, who died after slumping near his home in Ikorodu are of the state.
Both ex-players reeled out encomiums for the man they called one of their fiercest opponents, who footballlive.ng learnt slumped and died after returning home in the early hours of Wednesday.
‘Barbwire’ began his career at Green Beret FC of Lagos in the early 80s, before playing for Hoest of Otta and Concord of Abeokuta.
He joined Stores in the 90s and went on to play for Rangers of Enugu before returning to The Flaming Flamingoes of Lagos, where he ended his playing career.
Family sources said the deceased, who was nicknamed ‘Barbwire’ by fans, due to his no-nonsense approach to defending during matches, had been ill for a while but was recuperating before he died.
A family friend, Olabisi Olawepo disclosed: “Collins slumped and died around 5.30am. He had slept out but was coming home to pick up his hospital card because he had an appointment with his doctor, when he slumped a few meters to his house.”
His younger brother, Fabian, said the family would announce the burial of the fallen star in due course.
Fabian Collins said: “We will have to take his corpse down to our family house in Surulere. After then, we will announce the burial arrangements.”
Leading the mourners, Oloyede stated: “Though he was feared because of his hard approach, he was a nice man on-and-off the pitch.
“He was one of my best friends at Stores and when we left the club. He was a fantastic individual.”
On his part, Akinwale wrote on WhatsApp: “May the soul of Ebitimi Collins aka Babuwaya Rest in Peace. I played against him severally in the early 90s. 3SC vs Stationery Stores.”