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‘King’ Henry thrills Lagos football fans


Marketing Manager, Premium Core Brands, Guinness Nigeria PLC, Uche Onwudiwe; Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria PLC, Viola Graham-Douglas; Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria PLC, Peter Ndegwa; Thierry Henry; Marketing and Innovations Director (Guinness and Spirits) Guinness Nigeria PLC, Adenike Adebola; Legal Director and Company Secretary, Rotimi Odusola; Guinness Nigeria PLC, when Guinness hosted its ‘Made of black’ ambassador at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos…on Sunday.

Former Arsenal striker, Thierry Henry stole the show at the Landmark Event Centre Lagos where football fans, especially supporters of the London club, gathered to join the World Cup winner in watching the English Premier League game between West Brom and Manchester United.

Henry is in Nigeria as part of Guinness Nigeria’s ‘Watch a Match with Thierry Henry.’

Speaking at the event, Henry, who was crowned with an Igbo traditional title, ‘Igwe,’ by some Arsenal supporters, said he was delighted to be in Lagos, saying he has always admired Nigerian football.

He admitted that former Super Eagles’ striker, Nwankwo Kanu is one of Nigeria’s best players that he has ever met, adding that he knew quite a lot about the country’s brand of football.

Also at the event were retired Nigeria internationals, Victor Ikpeba, Peter Rufai, Mutiu Adepoju, Finidi George, and Austin Eguavoen.

Henry said: “I am happy to be here. It is my first time in Nigeria, but I have met with Kanu, Ikpeba, they always say you have to go (Nigeria) they love the game there. I knew that for a fact because I grew up watching the Super Eagles in 1994 and before that a lot of Nigerians played in France, including Siasia, late Stephen Keshi.”

“When those guys played that was how I knew Nigeria but they played in France and did well and the Super Eagles backed it up in 1994 World Cup.

“Kanu is always happy, positive. He was really good, very good. Everyone knew it. He was very calm, just unbelievable. It was a privilege playing with him.”

The Guinness Made of Black ambassador came into the country on Sunday to celebrate the unique passion for football among fans in the country.

At the Guinness Fanzone event, which held at Landmark Event Centre in Lagos, winners of the ‘Be A Front Row Fan’ National Consumer Promotion had the opportunity to watch the West Brom versus Manchester United game and celebrate Made of Black Moments with the football legend.

Speaking at the event, Peter Ndegwa, Managing Director, Guinness said: “Thierry Henry is an international icon of the highest calibre, we are proud to have him as an ambassador of our Made of Black Programme.

“Henry carved his own path to bring his creative flair to the game, he worked hard to demonstrate his skill and ability; ultimately changing the way the game was played in England and showing that he was truly Made of Black. He is an inspirational ambassador for our Made of Black campaign.”

The high point of the event was the unveiling of Nigeria’s brand new Made of Black ambassador, Goodluck Obieze, an amputee footballer with an incredible passion for football.

As a child, Goodluck dreamed of playing football and leaving his village to be in the city and make it as a footballer. But his dream of becoming a footballer was put in jeopardy when he lost one of his legs in an accident. This didn’t stop him from following his dream. He came to Lagos where he found his team and he is now their captain. He found his wife. He set up his own thriving keke napep business. And he found a life that he loves.

On selection of Goodluck Obieze as Made of Black ambassador, Adenike Adebola, Marketing Director Guinness said, “Goodluck is truly Made of Black, a man who showed real determination to write his own rules and carve his own path in life. He has an incredible story, which should inspire every Nigerian.

“We have a number of projects in store this year working with Goodluck. We, at Guinness believe that football and people’s passion for the game can unite Nigerians to do incredible acts, and this is just one of the activities we will be doing this year – watch this space.”

The evening was rounded off with live music performances from the duo Small Doctor and Phyno, artists that have distinguished themselves by building enviable careers through sheer determination and hard work; attributes that personify the Made of Black Spirit.

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