Titus Okere: Nigeria’s oldest living ex-international footballer

Titus Okere was born on March 22, 1929 in Ngor Okpala local Government Area, Owerri, Imo state. He attended St. Cyprian’s Anglican School, Port Harcourt, Kalabari National College and Okrika Grammar School.

Okere joined Ziks Athletic Club Bombers Port Harcourt in 1938 and later joined Lagos Railways, where he captained the club during a successful period where they won trophies.

In 1951, he captained the Nigerian squad against Gold Coast.

In February 1953, Titus Okere signed a contract with Swindon Town FC, making him the first Nigerian to sign as a professional footballer and play for a European club.

As a 20-year-old, the left-wing wizard was one of the 18 pioneer members of Nigeria’s national football team who toured the United Kingdom in August 1949. The team was then known as the UK Tourists and later the Red Devils.

The 94-year-old (who has, since 1953, been living a quiet life in Kent, some 67 kilometres from London) is now the only surviving member of the team after the death of Nigeria’s first goalkeeper, Sam Henshaw Ibiam, on December 2, 2015, at the age of 91.

Credit: Npfl reporters

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