Rashidi Yekini’s 60th Birthday
Today celebrates iconic Nigerian footballer Rashidi Yekini, an accomplished forward nicknamed the “Goalsfather” for his ability to sneak shots by the keeper. On this day in 1963, he was born in Kaduna, Nigeria.
The beginning of Yekini’s life was difficult as he faced homelessness and poverty. To make money, his first jobs were a welder and mechanic, but his true goal was to pursue football. He soon began playing in front of scouts and in 1981, he joined his first football club, UNTL FC, in Kaduna.
The talented striker played for the Shooting Stars next, scoring an impressive 45 goals in 53 games. His spectacular scoring abilities earned him the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1983, and he was the first Nigerian player to receive this honor. The next year, he helped bring the Shooting Stars to the finals of the African Champions Cup.
Aside Nigeria, he also played for football clubs in Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Tunisia, Switzerland, and Greece. While playing for a Portuguese team called Vitória Setúbal, he won the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) for being the league’s top-scoring player in the 1993-94 season.