60 Sports Icons: Okocha, Kanu and Nkwocha Top List 

By Ibrahim Taiwo, The Nigerian Voice Sports

Former Super Eagles stars Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Jay Jay Okocha and Super Falcons legend, Perpetual Nkwocha were among the 60 sports icons unveiled by the Ministry of Sports to celebrate Nigeria's 60 years of Independence.

Members of the Super Eagles teams of 1980, 1994, Atlanta 1996 as well as track and Field and boxing dominated the list of the 60 sports icons that were unveiled during the celebration of Nigeria’s most outstanding sports icons of the last sixty years.

The event which took place at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja Friday, October 16th will have the pictures of the stars on display for 60 days.

According to the votes cast to pick the outstanding stars through various platforms, Mercurial Super Eagles players like Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Garba Lawal, Emmanuel Amunike of the famed 1994 and Atlanta 1996 Dream Team were selected by a wide spectrum of Nigerians.

Also selected are the 1980 Green Eagles that won Nigeria’s maiden Nations Cup on home soil with Team captain Christian Chukwu and Segun Odegbami listed individually.

Emmanuel Okala and Mudashiru Lawal were also picked as the symbol of the 1980 Green Eagles.

The Golden Eagles of 1985 that paraded the likes of Captain Nduka Ugbade, Victor Igbinoba, and coached by Sebastian Brodricks – Imasuen were also recognised.

Nigerian first Olympics medallist Nojeem Maiyegun, first individual Gold medallist Chioma Ajunwa, Mary Onyali, Sunday Bada, Commonwealth Games Medalists Olawunmi Majekodunmi, Samuel Igun, world boxing champions Hoggan Kid Bassey, Dick Tiger, Chidi Imoh, female Wrestler Odunayo Adekuruoye also made the list.

Legendary footballer Teslim Thunder Balogun, Ace radio commentators Mazi Ernest Okonkwo, Dr. Larry Izamoje, Sports Philanthropist Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Moshood Abiola, Chief Adebutu Kesington among others also made the icons list.

However, Out of the sixty legends honoured only six were on ground to receive their plagues.

Minister of Youth And Sport, Sunday Dare revealed that there was no money to invite the others to the ceremony.

“We asked for nominations and received over 3,400. But the committee which was set up had a difficult task in picking 60 of them because we have hundreds who have represented this county well.

“However, you are seeing a few of the icons here due to the cost implications.

“First we needed to keep their names classified. We didn’t want to unveil them before the unveiling proper. Some of them are just finding out about it in the media.

“There is also a budget consideration. We decided to bring six of them to represent the others.

Full List of 60 Sports Icons
1. Chioma Ajunwa
2. Mary Onyali
3. Jighere Wellington
4. Odion Aikhoje
5. Duncan Dokiware
6. Austin Okocha
7. Kanu Nwankwo
8. Feyisetan Are
9. Blessing Okagbare
10. Garba Lawal
11. Lucy Ejike
12. Falilat Ogunkoya/Atlanta 96 Women’s 4x400m Quartet

13. Sunday Bada/Sydney 2000 Men’s 4x400m Quartet

14. Football Dream Team, Atlanta 1996 Olympics
15. Emmanuel Amunike
16. Chika Chukwumerije
17. Davidson Ezinwa
18. Odunayo Adekuoroye
19. Modupe Oshikoya
20. Peter Konyegwachie
21. Olusoji Fasuba
22. Nduka Ugbade/Sebastine Broadricks Emasuen/1985 GOLDEN EAGLETS

23. Hogan Bassey
24. Dick Tiger
25. Samuel Peters
26. Barcelona 92′ quartet (Men’s 4x100m Relay)

27. Funke Oshonaike
28. Segun Odegbami
29. D’Tigress
30. Segun Toriola
31. Roland Ezuruike
32. Mayegun Nojeem
34. Israel Adesanya
35. Super Eagles 1994
36. Olumide Oyedeji
37. Blessing Oborududu
38. Tompraba Grikpa
39. Chidi Imoh
40. Christian Chukwu
41. Ajibola Adeoye
42. Stephen Keshi
43. Atanda Musa
44. Muda Lawal/Emmanuel Okala/Green Eagles 1980
45. Daniel Amokachi
46. Rashidi Yekini
47. Teslim Thunder Balogun
48. Perpetual Nkwocha
49. Super Falcons
50. Power Mike
51. Flora Ugwunwa
52. Lauretta Onye
53. Sam Okwaraji
54. Nduka Odizor
55. David Izonrite
56. Chief MKO Abiola
57. Dr. Larry Izamoje
58. Mazi. Ernest Okonkwo
59. Alh. Aliko Dangote
60. Chief Sir Kesington Adebutu