The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF expressed sadness over the death of Wilfred Agbonavbare who died of cancer in the early hours of Tuesday in Spain.
Acting President of NFF, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi said in an official statement that the federation is afflicted to have lost two foremost personalities in the game in one week.
'This is very sad coming only two days after the death of Coach The Nigeria Football Federation became aware of Agbonavbare’s affliction only a couple of weeks ago.
'This is another true hero gone to rest too early. Agbonavbare was a patriot of the first grade and his contributions to Nigeria football on-field can never be forgotten,' Akinwunmi said Tuesday afternoon.
Nicknamed Flying Cat, Agbonavbare played for Rubber Board FC and New Nigeria Bank FC, both of Benin City, was a member of the Super Eagles’ squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994, and also made the final squad to Nigeria’s debut appearance at the World Cup finals in USA the same year – one of the three goalkeepers, the others being Peter Rufai and Alloy Agu.
He was in the first Nigeria team to qualify for a FIFA World Cup finals – the U-20 squad of 1983. At the finals in Mexico, the team famously defeated USSR but lost 3-0 to Brazil before a 0-0 draw with The Netherlands, exiting at group stage.
The well-built goaltender also represented the senior team at the 1984, 1988 and 1990Africa Cup of Nations finals, winning silver in all three, before plucking gold in Tunisia in 1994.