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Samuel Okwaraji: Death During National Service

Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji was born on this day in 1964. He will always be remembered as a player who died during the course of service for his country.

A bright student, the Orlu-born Okwaraji had a Masters degree in International law from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome but chose to pursue his football interest.

During his football years, the 25-year-old enjoyed successes as he had a stint with European football clubs; AS Roma, Austria Klagenfurt, NK Dinamo Zagreb, VfB Stuttgart. As such, he was made a member of the Green Eagles squad of 1988 and scored of the fastest goals in the history of the African Nations Cup.

A year later, on August 12, 1989, the footballer who had gotten the attention of the Nigerians collapsed on the pitch at the 77 minute at the 1990 World Cup he died. An autopsy later revealed that he had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.

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Samuel Okwaraji
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