MEET THE LEGEND CALLED OKECHUKWU UCHE, (NOT UCHE OKECHUKWU)

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JOEL NWOKEOMA

I used to sneak out of the hostel at Emmanuel College Owerri to watch him play at his peak, expertly marshalling the defence of Iwuanyanwu Nationale FC of Owerri in the late 80s, having crossed over from the exciting Falcons of Aba now Enyimba and stopping rampaging strikers in their strides. Next minute, you would see him glide through the midfield like a Trojan to the opposing goalpost to nod in decisive nerve-wracking goals to the delight of fans and relief of suppporters and mates. A delight and terror to behold on the field of play, he was. He’s aptly nicknamed The Gentle Giant. His twin brother, Emeka, also played alongside him but not up to his capacity. Under Clemens Westerhof, he was invited to the Super Eagles in 1989 alongside Ben Iroha.

In 1993, legendary Super Eagles defender, Okechukwu Uche, joined Fenerbahce from Brondby after winning their 1992 Player of the Year.

In 1994, he’s part of Golden Generation @supereagles that won the AFCON in Tunis and qualified Nigeria for its first Mundial in the USA later that year. He’s among the three overage players seconded to the Nwankwo Kanu-led Dream Team that won Olympics gold in Atlanta in 1996.

He was honoured after spending 13 years in Turkish Football as the Foreign player that had played in Turkey for the Longest period (About 300 Games).

He spent nine illustrious years at Fenerbahce and four more at Istanbulspor, earning his Turkish Citizenship thereafter. A true legend.

#Throwback

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