“I’m weeping because my father was my number one fan and supporter. He taught me how to play football. I used to watch him play when I was growing up but now he is no more, his words of encouragement to me before and after every match were really motivating. He will be greatly missed”.
Those were the solemn words of Super Eagles and Akwa United striker Ndifreke Effiong during the funeral service of his father at their home town, in Iton Odoro in Ikono local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
Ndifreke Effiong netted eleven (11) goals for Akwa United and was second on the scorers chart in the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League Season before the season was truncated by the outbreak of coronavirus in March.
The Promise Keepers hitman in an exclusive interview with Akwa United media department said his late father Mr Effiong Udo Udo played for C. Lions FC and Leopard FC all in Calabar and was later appointed coach of Leopard FC.
“Our family is a football family. My father was a player and also a solider. He joined the Nigerian Army in 1969 before returning to coaching.
“My father encouraged my siblings and I to play football, he used to take us to the stadium when he was playing and we all learned from him. He will be missed not only by us his immediate family but by all who came in contact with him.
“I thank God that my mother is still alive and we will be counting on her prayers and support”.
Akwa United family was visibly present at the funeral as the club chairman Elder Paul Bassey led the entire staff, coaches and players of the team to the funeral in Iton Odoro.
The Promise Keepers in a condolence message to the family singed by the secretary of the club Elder Omon Bassey, the club expressed sadness over the demise of late Effiong Udo Udo and prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul. The club also prayed God to grant the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Late Mr. Effiong Udo Udo who slept in the Lord on March 17, 2020 was laid to rest on Friday October 30, 2020 after a funeral service by Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) Iton Odoro in Ikono local government area.