Former Nigerian International Footballer, Green Eagles ace defender Yisa Sofoluwe is dead. “The Minister of Defense” as popular called by sports commentators died at the age of 54 on Tuesday.
Sofoluwe, who was also known as the Dean of Defense in his playing days, passed away after a battle with a brain ailment.
The former defender passed on few hours after Sports Minister, Sunday Dare announced to take up his hospital bills.
Sofoluwe was on admission at ICU center in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where he was due to undergo brain surgery.
Sofoluwe was Green (Super) Eagles regular left back with 40 caps, between 1983 and 1988, playing at the 1984 and 1988 African Nations Cups.
He also had an illustrious club career playing for some of the countries biggest clubs like 3SC, Abiola Babes, where he won two FA Cups in 1985 and 1987, and Julius Berger and Gateway United.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Wednesday, said former Super Eagles defender Yisa Sofoluwe who died on Tuesday was somebody who came before his time.
Dare, in a statement issued by his Media Office, said he was deeply shocked and sad to learn of Sofoluwe’s demise, especially as he died when help was on its way.
Sofoluwe died on Tuesday at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital at the age of 54.
“The news of Sofoluwe’s death is quite devastating and one that hit me like a tornado. He was a great, committed, disciplined, humble and patriotic player”.
“He came ahead of his time. No wonder he was nicknamed ‘the Dean of Defence’ by ace commentator Ernest Okonkwo,” the Sports Minister said.
While expressing his condolences and prayers to Sofoluwe’s wife, children, former teammates and the football community, Dare noted that Sofoluwe died just when help was on the way for him.
“He died just when help was on the way for him to pay for his surgery. But his death is a huge loss. Rest in peace ‘Dean of Defence’,” the minister said.
The minister had last week sent some undisclosed amount of money to one of Sofoluwe’s ex-teammates to pay part of his hospital bills.