He may not be well known as he headed the administration of the Nigerian football governing body in the ‘ancient past’.
At a time, it was even a subject of debate if he was ever a general secretary at the then Nigeria Football Association as his name was conspicuously missing on the board at NFF Secretariat, which listed past administrators.
Herbert Omokhaye, who hails from Otuo Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State was the secretary of the NFA from 1964 to 1965 when he was seconded to the association from the just established National Sports Council (NSC), which transformed into National Sports Commission in 1970.
Omokhaye clocked 86 yesterday as the oldest former scribe of Nigerian football still alive.
From Nigeria’s files in the archives of FIFA, it was Omokhaye that responded to correspondence from the world body regarding a fixture of Nigeria and Morocco in the Tokyo 1964 Olympic qualifiers.
From the same archival materials, www.sportsvillagesquare.com gathers the correspondence to FIFA by the late Abraham Ordia when Omokhaye resigned from both the NSC and the NFA.
Omokhaye played as a defender in the Challenge Cup finals in the 1950s for Lagos UAC and the Federal United which was a model club that some influential Nigerians in Lagos established.
Omokhaye’s football career started when he was a member of the Methodist Boys High School in 1950 from where he joined the Lagos UAC club as a left-sided defender in 1951 before moving to SCOA in 1955.
He featured for the then model club, Federal United in the Challenge Cup final of 1958 before retiring in 1961 to begin a career in sports administration.
He became the general secretary of the then Lagos Amateur Football Association (LAFA) in 1962 from where he moved to the newly established NSC in 1964.
It was then he was seconded to the NFA. According to him, he became a referee in 1969 and rose to the top grade in 1975. He retired as a referee in 1981 and became a match commissioner in 1982.