.The Peter Ijeh Column Recalls Great Moment With Late Midfielder –
I’m writing this tribute with a heavy heart.
This is because my one-time colleague, a playmate and special friend John Ene Okon is no more. He died recently after an illness. I heard he had a liver problem before he gave up on 15 March at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
His death at this time is actually painful because he spoke with me not too long before I heard he was dead. We had missed contact for over 20 years before that particular call. I didn’t know it was going to be the last time we would talk because he was full of life with the way he joked on telephone. He told me about his coaching job at Calabar Rovers, and I was happy for him.
A midfield maestro, the late John Okon contributed immensely to the success of my former team Julius Berger Football Club of Lagos back then. He was a good passer of the ball, very quick and accurate on the ball. For John Okon, there was no dull dull moment.
Apart from our exploits in other competitions, John Okon inspired our team (Julius Berger FC) to win the year 2000 Nigeria Pro-League title and we would not forget him for the crucial role he played that season.
Interestingly, I, Peter Ijeh emerged the Highest Goal Scorer in the Nigeria Pro-League that same year 2000.
However, I’m sending my condolences to John Ene Okon’s family, friends, former teammates and the entire football community in Nigeria and other relatives and friends in the diaspora.
Rest in Peace, dear colleague and teammate; John Ene Okon.