Posted by Nelson Dafe | 10 March 2015 | 6,977 times
Tragedy has hit the African community in France. Last weekend, a promising Nigerian football player, Courage Okoro, and his Ghanaian pastor, Joseph Amihere, died in a motor accident that also left another person dead and a couple of passengers injured.
News Express gathered from John, a very close friend and team mate of Okoro, that the late footballer and members of his church were returning from a church programme when they had the fatal accident.
“He (Courage) died in a car accident. Our church went to another city called Nice to open a new branch, on their way back to Lyon, their horse-blood jaguar car hit a toll gate pillar that separates Lyon from one small city called Vienne. Our pastor died instantly, and Courage was in coma for about four days before he gave up. They were five inside the car, one is okay now, two are dead, Courage and our pastor, while two are yet to recover,” John informed News Express.
Okoro, until his death, was a midfielder playing for SC Maccabi, a French team based in Lyon, France’s second largest city. He was scheduled to play a league match for his team last Saturday night, but couldn’t make it quick enough to the game.
John narrated further: “We had a league match, and it was an away game that was supposed to kick off by 8pm. Our coach felt disappointed when Courage called at about 6:30 p.m. to say that he couldn’t make it, and that he was returning from a journey. When we got to the stadium by 7pm, I didn’t see Courage in the dressing room, so I picked up my phone and called him, and he told me that they would be in Lyon at 7:30 p.m. and that he couldn’t make it. Courage and I then discussed up to about 7:10 p.m. and he wished me good luck. I’m so surprised and shocked to learn that the accident happened at 7:15 p.m.”
Before leaving Nigeria a couple of years ago for France, Okoro (popularly known as Makalele by his Nigerian friends) had stints with national amateur club Dynamite FC and national division one side Bendel Insurance FC, both of Benin City. He was in his 20s.
A devastated John described Okoro as a very jovial and easy going person. “He was a team motivator,” John said.
•Photo shows late Courage Okoro.
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