A close family member, Tomiwa Aghedo, confirmed the development, saying Erico, who is popularly known as ‘Jogo Bonito Exponent,’ passed away on Tuesday morning after complaining of stomach ache.
Speaking with Goal, Aghedo said; “I feel sad informing you that coach Joe Erico passed on this morning [Tuesday]. He complained of stomach ache yesterday and he was subsequently rushed to the hospital, where he was told to present his Covid-19 test result before he would be attended to.”
“Coach Erico went for the test as directed and very early this morning he passed away. It’s terrible news at this point in time and everyone of us is devastated. We are consoled by the fact that he served Nigeria with all his strength and he lived a good life worthy of emulation.”
Erico began his football career with the Nigerian Police Force (NEPA) Nigeria Railways, Electricity Connectors of Nigeria and Julius Berger – where he won several diadems.
He attracted the national teams’ selectors in 1968 and he was picked to man Nigeria’s goalpost alongside Prince Zion Ogunfeyimi by coach Tiko Jelisavcic for the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Ethiopia.
There, he played a crucial role as Jelisavic’s men placed third after defeating Egypt 3-2 in the play-off at the Addis Ababa Stadium.
KanyiDaily has also reported how a former member of the House of Representatives, Jerome Eke, died few days after losing his wife, Joan, in River State.
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