By Sedara Philip
11 years after the demise of Nigeria’s all-time record goalscorer, Rashidi Yekini, Gateway United has joined fans across the globe to celebrate and extol the virtues of the Kwara State-born striker.
Yekini was not only a legend of Nigerian football, but also a true ambassador of the sport, whose achievements continue to inspire young footballers to this day.
In a reminiscent message, the acting General Manager of Gateway United, Niyi Soleye, spoke about Yekini’s remarkable career and his impact on the club during his short stint in 2005. “Yekini was a prolific goal scorer as well as a complete gentleman who was respected by his teammates and opponents alike. His 37 goals in the colours of Nigeria are still a record till date, which speaks to the level of his talent and dedication.”
Soleye went on to describe Yekini’s time at Gateway United, which was a momentous occasion for the club and its fans. “I still remember his arrival at Gateway United like it was yesterday. As the club secretary at the time, it was a privilege to witness a player of his caliber join our ranks. He adapted to our style of play seamlessly and helped the team both on and off the pitch. His presence in the dressing room and on the field of play was a morale booster for everyone involved.”
” It is unfortunate that he passed away in 2012 under controversial circumstances, but his legacy continues to inspire future generations of Nigerian footballers”.
Yekini made a name for himself in Nigerian club sides, including Shooting Stars and Abiola Babes, before moving on to conquer Europe. His impressive goal-scoring record and his dynamic style of play made him a force to be reckoned with both on and off the field.
He moved to Gateway United for a short stint in April 2005, alongside former national teammates Sani Abacha and Jude Edemba, and made 26 appearances, scoring 7 goals. His contributions to the club were invaluable, and his time at the Ogun State owned club will forever be remembered as a special moment in the club’s history.
Yekini passed away on 4th May 2012 at the age of 48 and was buried at his residence in Ira, Kwara State.
His legacy as one of Nigeria’s greatest footballers of all time will continue to live on, and his name will forever be remembered in the annals of Nigerian football history.