Abuja - Former Nigeria football coach Stephen Keshi died on Wednesday aged 54 of a suspected heart attack, his family said in a statement.
charismatic coach, dubbed "Big Boss" by fans, died in Benin City in
southern Nigeria from "cardiac arrest", the statement said.
His brother and manager, Emmanuel Ado, confirmed Keshi's death.
is true, my brother has passed on. He has gone to meet his wife," Ado
said, referring to Kate, Keshi's wife of 35 years, who died last year
after a long battle with cancer.
"He was not ill at all, never
showed any signs of illness, but we suspect he never got over the death
of his wife," said a friend of Keshi's who spoke on condition of
In 2013, Keshi led his country's team to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations.
A year later, Nigeria qualified to the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Brazil.
Keshi also coached other national squads, qualifying Togo to the 2006 World Cup and taking charge of Mali.
"Big Boss", as he was named by fans because of his charisma and
leadership skills, sparked an exodus of Nigerian players to Belgium in
1985 when he joined top club Anderlecht.
He also played for Strasbourg in France and Stade Abidjan in Ivory Coast.