TRIBUTES…TRIBUTES…TRIBUTES…TRIBUTES…

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A Great Loss to Nigeria

” Erico dead? This is so unfortunate and sad. This is one death too many, a great loss to the entire family and the sporting community. He was a great goalkeeper who stood out among his peers. He also made his mark as Assistant Super Eagles Coach. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and the football community. May God bless his soul and comfort his family.”

-Sunday Dare, Sports Minister

Another Sad Day in Nigerian Football

“It is another sad day for Nigerian Football. Erico was among the very best of Nigeria’s international goalkeepers and also served the country with fervour and diligence as Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles between 2001 and 2002. He will be sorely missed.

-Dr Mohammed Sanusi, General Secretary, NFF

The Jogo Bonito Exponent

Joe Erico the Jogo Bonito exponent. I remember NNB Vs Berger in 1986/87 season. His whistle on the touchline was regulating his players’ touches on the ball. From one touch to two touches and back. We (NNB players) sweated. Possession was like 30/70%. A Great Coach is gone. We have lost another gem in Nigerian Football. RIP Coach Joe Erico. Goodnight

-Edema Fuludu….Former Erico player at Julius Berger

‘He Prepared Me for My Football Career’

Hmmmmmmmmm, the Lord knows best. I was one of the beneficiaries of this great talent. What he taught me at Julius Berger FC was what prepared me for my entire professional career. The most pleasant of all the coaches I worked with, professionally differentiating football from personal issues. It is with a very heavy heart I say May his Soul Rest in Perfect Peace.

-Jonathan Akpoborire…Former Super Eagles star

‘I Have Lost A Friend’

OMG,Jogo Bonito is no more? I have lost an intimate friend and a colleague. The three of them (along with Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi) were my colleagues in the then NFA. A jovial and down to earth man in all his dealings. May the Almighty Allah the exalted, console his family. What a great loss to the football family.

-Dr Tijani Yusuf…Former NFA General Secretary

‘Another Eagle Returns’

All that goes returns…he was different and the style was the man…the one I called the apostle of Jogo Bonito has left us for good and joined the sublime keepers upstairs…how can we start remembering the moments you gave us inside and outside the pitch. Fare thee well our beloved Erico- the last of the dream team ..a rare mix of coaches…another Eagle returns.

-Mitchell Obi…Veteran Sports Journalist and friend of Erico

‘Never to Be Forgotten’

I will never forget the Saturday morning with Joe Erico and Haruna Ilerika and their stories from Dire Dawa in Ethiopia ‘76… Sad they both passed away, my respect for both of them quadrupled…

-Emeka Enyadike…Former Publisher of 442 Magazine

‘Stamp Your B’ and Get Out’

“Stamp your ‘B’ and get out”…I heard Taribo West and coach Joe Erico shout these words to themselves during a chance meeting in the mixed zone after a game during the 2000 AFCON at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos…curiously, I walked up to coach Erico to ask him what those words meant…

“Those were our catch phrase while I was coach of Julius Berger FC, Lagos. We had the big ‘B’badge on our jerseys..we played sweet Brazilian football and every one envied us. Some people hated us but couldn’t resist coming to watch us play. Our away games were ‘wars’. We always played against all odds but we never wavered, we will always play our style. We always played to win. The usual charge I gave the players in the dressing room before our games was for them to show they are the Bridge Boys, Julius Berger…it was always ‘stamp your ‘B’ and get out’.”

-Toyin Ibitoye…Sports Journalist/Former Media Officer Super Eagles