It’s the 33rd death anniversary of late Nigerian footballer, Samuel Okwaraji. The Ex international, Okwaraji died on this day, 12th of August 1989 at the age of 25.
Okwaraji collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
He was also a qualified lawyer who had a masters in International Law from the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome.
Okwaraji had a career in Europe which included playing for AS Roma (1984–1985), NK Dinamo Zagreb (1985–1986), Austria Klagenfurt (1986–1987), VfB Stuttgart (1987–1989) and SSV Ulm 1846 (loan) (1987–1988).
He was playing with Belgian side K. Berchem Sport at the time of his death.
At the international scene, the Orlu born footballer made the Nigerian squad in 1988 and at that year’s African Nations Cup where he scored one of the fastest goals in the history of the championship against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
Okwaraji also made 4 appearances for the Nigerian Olympic team in 1988.
Okwaraji collapsed ten minutes from the end of a 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Angola in Lagos.
He died from possible complications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as an autopsy showed that he had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.
Watch how Samuel Okwaraji’s brother narrates how he died at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos in 1989.