Headteacher, St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka Lagos, Daniel Ikediobi, says the late Stephen Keshi was admitted to the college because of his football prowess, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The former Super Eagles coach died in Benin in the early hours of Wednesday at 54.
“Stephen Keshi was admitted to the school on scholarship due to his football skills. He was admitted to form three during the 1977/1978 academic session by the founding Principal of the college, Rev. Fr. Dennis Slatery,” Ikediobi told NAN in Lagos on Friday.
He said the principal, the first Chairman, Nigeria Football Association, and first Chairman, Nigerian Referees Association, attracted students who exhibited good skills in football to the school.
Ikediobi added, “Fr. Slatery attracted students who were potential footballers by offering scholarships or a soft landing to them because St. Finbarr’s College is a football-playing school.
“Any issue that concerned Keshi was considered if his parents could not meet up.”
According to him, the school poached the late former Nigeria captain while playing for his former school during the Lagos State Principal’s Cup.
He said Keshi played for the school in the competition the year he was admitted and won it which was the last he played before he left in 1979/1980 session.
The headteacher, who was the physics teacher then, said he could not say much about the deceased’s academic performance because Keshi was an arts student.
He said, “I cannot say much about his brilliance in academics but being prominent in football with Henry Nwosu, he was known to be relatively cool headed. He was not involved in any activity that warranted being suspended or expelled from the school throughout his days.”
Ikediobi added, “He did not do much for the school. When he won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations for the country, we made several efforts to bring him to address the students but did not succeed. I am unaware of any financial assistance made to the Old Boys Association or to the school, nothing of such, not even a trophy.”
He also said it was a privilege for one to be given a scholarship in the school on account of football and much was expected from him.
Ikediobi said, “I think that people should learn from little mistakes, if Keshi had made it a point of duty to visit the school, he could have. This cannot be said of his other colleagues who are in his position.”
Mrs. Wasiat Ayanbajo, Headteacher, St Peters Catholic Primary School, Ebute Meta, where Keshi finished his primary education in 1972/73 session, said records had shown that as an old pupil, he contributed to the school’s development.
“He was a benefactor to the school; he jointly with Paul Okoku, another footballer, equipped it with modern communications gadgets. All these people were old students of the school,” she said.
According to her, the late coach came to the school on May 27 and May 28 2012, to celebrate Children’s Day and World Hungers Day with the children.