First Nigerian Footballer To Play At Arsenal Highbury Stadium Dies, Scored On Nigeria Debut Vs Ghana A prominent member of the second generation of Nigerian national football team, otherwise known as the Red Devils, who shook the continent of Africa in the late 50s, Dejo Fayemi is dead.

The former striker who scored on his debut when Nigeria beat Ghana for the first time passed away in his sleep at his home located at Odo-Ona Elewe area of Ibadan at the age of 83 years on Friday 2nd December.

The Ibadan born Fayemi was among the first set of Nigerians who in 1961 travelled to England to play professional football just after Independence.

In 1961, Fayemi wrecked the Independence Day celebration for Sierra Leone with his goal in an invitational friendly match to mark the country’s attainment of a republic. He also did same thing to Dahomey (now Republic of Benin).

He also scored when Liberty Stadium (now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium) was opened in 1958, when he played among the selected side called Western Rovers that lost 11-2 to a Sheffield Wednesday FC of England and after that match was presented with a trophy as the Best Player of the Year.

Speaking with his eldest daughter, Kemi Fayemi moment after the passing away of Pa Fayemi, she said the deceased never gave any inclination to his death, as he still played jokingly with every member of the household the night prior to his death.

“My dad was a caring father, he eat ‘amala’ I prepared for him last night and joked with his grand children before he went to bed, only to discover him dead in the morning when we expect him to come out for the usual morning devotion”, she said.

The burial arrangement for Pa Fayemi, the first Nigerian to play at the old Highbury Stadium of Arsenal Football Club, would be announce after the meeting of the family.

Olanrewaju Akanbi Agiri