Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has praised former Green Eagles goalkeeper, Emmanuel Okalla (MON), who celebrates his 70th birthday on Monday.
In a release from the Media office, the minister described the 1980 African Nations Cup hero as one of the greatest goalkeepers Nigeria and Africa has ever produced.
Dare said, “On behalf of the Nigerian football family, let me sincerely congratulate Emmanuel Okalla as he turns 70”.
“On this your special day, I wish you God’s guidance, protection, mercy favour and good health, Happy birthday”.
The minister added, “You are truly an icon whose place in Nigerian and African football is already assured. Your role in winning the 1980 Nations Cup and other accomplishments canot be forgotten”.
“We will continue to celebrate you and pray to God to endow you with good health and long life. God bless you and thanks for all the great memories”, concludes Dare.
Okalla, is the only Nigerian goalkeeper to be decorated as ‘African Footballer of the Year’ by the African Sports Journalists Union, ASJU .
The former Enugu Rangers player held the number one position in the defunct Green Eagles for 10 years.
His towering figure at 6ft, 5 inches earned him the nickname ‘Tallest’ and ‘Man Mountain’ by the late legendary radio ace commentator, Earnest Okonkwo.