Four months after he passed on, the memory of Coach Emeka Anthony Okpor (DaddyMekus) lives on as family, friends, partners, and residents of Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin, attended Penalty King 7 to honor the former football coach.
The Delta Force Football Club’s former coach, sports administrator, and blogger was born on September 15, 1975, and died on January 19, 2022.
Coach Anthony was a football coach with the National Institute for Sports (NIS) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) certificates.
Friends and family spoke at the memorial competition which was held on Sunday at Stone Field, 41 Road, Festac Town.
Mr. Ibikunle Oluwafemi, founder and owner of Exquisite Model International who also founded Penalty King Series, described Coach Anthony as a key part of the competition that hosted 6 series before he passed.
“This season 7 is in memory of DaddyMekus, who is like a founding member of this event because when I wanted to start I met him. He was a category C FIFA approved coach, the highest-ranked coach in this local government area.
“He has been very instrumental in this competition from day one until this January when he passed on, so I deemed it fit to dedicate this season to him,” Oluwafemi said.
Mrs. Mercy Emeka Okpor, wife of Coach Anthony, was lost for words as she struggled to express her emotions.
She thanked organizers, sponsors, and residents of Festac Town for honoring her beloved husband.
“My husband!! I’m very very happy and I thank God that there was no rain. The sun shone all over. I will honor my husband, who died on January 19, unexpectedly, but I cannot question God. They say every disappointment is a blessing and I have to give God thanks.
“My husband was a good man; a good husband, a sweet father, a lovely brother, and a friend.”My husband was too nice to the extent that I was telling God to give me a second chance just to tell him that I love him,” Mrs. Okpor said.
Mr. Samson Okpor, a sibling, praised the organizer of Penalty King.
He said, “This competition has brought light to this neighborhood and has increased the economies of some people (the winners). It is so painful to use the word was. He was not just a good man, but with a very large heart.
“He has touched a lot of lives (even mine). There are so many things that he has done for me that I can’t even begin to mention them because they are too numerous to mention, but one thing is certain. His legacy still lives.
“We can see that the competition he was organizing goes on. He has laid the foundation. “And since the foundation is strong, I don’t think the competition will fall; it will continue,” Mr. Okpor said.
Elena Ogochukwu Okpor, daughter, expressed her gratitude to everyone who participated in the competition.
“My dad was a legend because he helped a lot of people in their lives. He has made an impact on Festac by being a coach. It’s great for everyone to come here and express how they feel. It’s a great thing for me to experience.”
A large number of people participated in Penalty King 7, which had four categories. Eberechukwu Ikpeka won the female kid category and received N15,000 cash and a gift bag, while Ezekwugo Chiamaka, who won the adult female category, received N20,000 cash and a gift bag.
Emmanuel Lala received N15,000 cash, a gift bag, and a Bluetooth speaker, while the biggest winner of the day, Tari Joweigha, who won the maiden edition of Penalty King, walked away with N50,000 cash, a gift bag, a travel charger, and a Bluetooth speaker.
Tari Joweigha said, “This is me saying thank you to all the sponsors and saying it’s a privilege to be part of it. I also want to honor a man who was like a brother to me. His death was a surprise; he was a kind person, someone you could go to with any problem and he would find a solution in the quickest way.
“When I heard about it, I was distraught. I was like, “Why do good people have to die?” He was a selfless person. May his soul rest in peace, and may he find peace wherever he is at the moment.”
Honorable Hammed Olanrewaju, Ward C councilor, and the newly elected supervisor for youth, sports, and social development of Amuwo Odofin Local Government area were both at the event.