……How Bendel Insurance ’78 FA Cup victory converted him to football …..Regrets Nigeria’s loss to Italy at USA ’94 W/Cup …..Speaks on Westerhof, France ’98 World Cup and his move to England
Augustine Eguavoen was part of what many believe was the golden generation of Nigerian football. The squad of players which included storied names like Daniel Amokachi, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha and Stephen Keshi.
Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and qualified for the World Cup for the first time. Eguavoen spoke with Sammy Wejinya of SPN Africa when he relieved some of the most memorable moments of his career. Who discovered you? It is hard to say if anyone discovered me and I will explain. I never liked football, I was a track and field expert with my speciality being the 100 and 200 metres events and I did this from my days in primary. Then my Dad was transferred to Benin City because of his job at AT and T, Sapele and then the love affair with a football kicked off. Bendel Insurance had just won the FA Cup (domestic Cup competition in Nigeria) by beating Enugu Rangers 3-0 and the ovation for the team was so much. The reception for the team was something else and I kept wondering what the massive celebrations were about. People went as far as Oluku (a town approximately 15 kilometres from Benin) to wait for the victorious Insurance team and I was amazed and decided to give football a try. I was hugely fascinated.