For many, not everyone in life is cut out to ride the expressway to stardom without encountering one form of obstacle(s) on the highway of success.
As humans, right from childhood to adulthood, we are exposed to ups and downs in our quest for success. While some never lived to shares their experiences, others ended up paying the supreme price with their lives.
Fortunately, the duo of Brown Ideye and Adeniyi Akande, are still alive today as the latter shares a terrifying incident that almost cut their career short while at Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Ocean Boys in 2007.
As teammates at the 2006 NPFL champions, both players remained close buddies since escaping the cold hands of death.
“’It was not an easy period for us at Ocean Boys’ but that didn’t stop the boys from coming out to play,” Adeniyi recalls, as he paints a picture of things at the Yenagoa outfit.
“Together with our captain, Blessing Okardi, we complained to the management over our sign-on fees as the season was coming to a close.
“So, when we were about to play our last our last match of the season against Wikki Tourists or Rangers, I can’t remember the exact team now. We got the cheering news that something has dropped,” he muted with a smile.
Legit.ng then inquired to know what happened after the cheering news hit the team’s camp.
“On getting to the bank with Brown (Ideye) the next day, the bank officials told us that the money was not ready yet but we should exercise patience.
“We then decided to go back to our camp, and return to the bank when the cash is ready.
“Unfortunately, not less than 10 minutes after we got back to our camp, the bank officials started calling that the money is ready.
“In fact, we wanted to use his car but the car suddenly, developed a fault,” he said, as he explains how they tried to make it back to the bank in good time.
“So, we decided to take an ‘Okada’ (motorbike) and take the expressway instead of the inside town because it was the faster route to the bank.
“Sadly, few minutes into our journey, a car appeared from nowhere from behind and brushed our Okada and we fell down in various directions.
“While Brown fell off beside the road immediately, I and the Okada rider used our bodies’ especially our backside to clean a few portion of the road before we finally stopped,” Adenyi told Legit.ng, as he went on to explain what happened next.
“Once, I regained my balance, I moved back to where Brown was sitting beside the road as he sustained a deep cut below the knee, very close to the ankle (to his Achilles tendon). On my part, my backside was already covered with blood,” he recalled.
Probing further, Legit.ng wanted to know from the ex-Ocean Boys’ ace how they managed to leave the accident scene.
“Unfortunately, when I tried to confront the driver of the car, I found out he was oozing of alcohol as he kept saying, “nothing will happen here…na we get the town.
“At this point, I reached out to my phone and started calling everyone I could remember; from our teammates, to fans and any club officials I could reach, to let them know what happened to us.
“Meanwhile, the man was busy bragging that he will have his way but he was not aware we were footballers.
“Before you could say, Jack….the whole place was filled up with different set of persons including serving Commissioners in Bayelsa, club officials as well as our teammates. This was exactly what happened before we were taken to Singabele Hospital in Yenagoa for treatment,” he stressed.
Interestingly, on arrival at the hospital, Niyi and Brown got more than they bargained for.
“At the hospital, more personalities came around to see us. Then the money that we were rushing to go and collect at the bank, which would’ve cost us our lives, was later brought to us in the hospital that night,” said Adeniyi, even as he admitted that the incident remains a sad moment for both players.
“This remains one of the saddest experiences; I passed through while playing in the NPFL. And for Brown, he has already signed for Swiss side, Neuchâtel Xamax in principle before the accident occurred, but for the love he had for Ocean Boys’, he wanted to play the last league game before travelling to Switzerland.
“So, after the accident, the foreign club officials as well as his manager were calling severally, but nobody had the courage, to take the call as we don’t know what exactly to tell them.
“However, on the long run we advised him to pick the call and let him tell them what happened,
“Eventually, he picked their call days later.
Asked what happened after Ideye recounted his ordeal to officials of the foreign club, Niyi said: “After letting them know what happened, they wanted to know if the injury touched his bone. But he said, ‘no that it was only the flesh.”
“Then they asked him to come over to Switzerland immediately, so that he can be treated and he will start playing again.
“This was how God saved Brown and I and he eventually made the move to Zamax to begin life as a professional footballer,” he said in an emotion laden voice.
Responding further to what happened to his career after Ideye finally completed the moved to the Swiss Super League club, Neuchâtel Xamax in January 2008, Niyi said: “I continued with my career here in the NPFL and later played for Bayelsa United for about three seasons before moving to 3SC where I played until the 2016/17 season.
“At present, I’m nursing an ankle injury I cropped up at 3SC. However, I’m looking forward to bounce back soon and continue doing what I love most-playing football. Hopefully, I’ll still play aboard someday,” Niyi hinted.
Sounding off,” the NPFL veteran says he remains in contact with Ideye who is well travelled in Europe playing for the likes of Sochaux, Dynamo Kyiv, West Bromwich Albion, Olympiacos and is currently on loan at Spanish La liga side, CF Malaga from Chinese Super League side, Tianjin Teda.
“Brown remains a good friend till this day.
“Despite playing abroad, he has been keeping our friendship real all these years,” submitted Niyi, who alongside Ideye were members of the all conquering Ocean Boys’ Football Club of Brass who emerged NPFL champions in 2006 in their first season in the Nigerian topflight.
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