Remembering Christian Madu, Nigeria’s Football Legend

he football world remain grateful to Christian Madu for the sacrifice he made for our country. He is popularly called ‘Gabu’. Christian Madu had long suffered from sickness which the State and Federal Government are aware of. The little I knew about Christian Madu spurred me to write this article. Dear readers, I hope you enjoy this piece. Madu died August 19, 2017 and was buried November 24th, 2017 at his home town in Ndiama Oka –Ugiri in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
Christian Madu was born in Kumasi, Ghana in 1948 to the family of Pa Herbert and Mrs. Ezinne Madumere. You may be wondering why his parents answer Madumere while he answered Madu. In order to remain in Ghana and continue his football career, Christian Madumere changed to Madu because the then Ghanaian government thought that Nigerians were the problem of Ghana. Since  Ghana was not comfortable with Nigerians, this made him to shorten his name to Madu, to fit into the Cameroonians names. This happened in the late 60s. Also, since Madumere wasn’t properly pronounced well by Ghanaians, the family decided to change from Madumere to Madu.
In Kumasi, the highest education level he attained was class six. He couldn’t go further because of his zeal and passion for footballing. His name rose to the climax when he started playing for the Colt Team. He played in most famous clubs in Ghana like Adenisimiah United and Accra Hearts of Oaths FC where he played for 12 years before joining Great Olympics and played for five years before joining Rangers. He played in Nigeria especially during the Civil War. He played for Stationery Stores of Lagos in their international engagements during the war.
His elder brother, Late Humphrey Madu travelled to Ghana to facilitate Christian’s return to Nigeria. On arrival from Ghana, Late Chief  Jipurueze took Late Christian Madu to Enugu Sports Council where he was employed by Rangers International FC of Enugu. The following year he was invited to the National Camp and subsequently played for Super Eagles of Nigeria.
He was in the Great Olympics team beaten by Enugu Rangers in the 1975 African Cup of Champions Clubs. He played so well and joined Enugu Rangers during the second season after he was asked by Rangers to be part of them. His style in the field was just exceptional which even amazed Rangers Team. At the next season, he moved from the Ghanaian club to Enugu Rangers and had his first Nigerian game starting the Nigeria’s 6-2 defeat of Sierra Leone.
He was known for his ball control management that attracted the then Green Eagles Coach, Father Tiko to invite him to the national team. I am sure that if the green grasses where Christian Madu trained and played could speak, it will also testify about Madu’s magical tactics and professional skills on the pitch. It is presumed that every player playing for two countries or clubs would be richer than a player who plays for a country. Madu, was one of the few players who played for two countries before FIFA ruled that a player could not play for different countries.
One of the happiest moments of Christian Madu was in 1978 when he got married to his beautiful wife, Mrs. Vero Madu. The marriage is blessed with three children, two sons and a girl. Some of his friends love him so much because of his philanthropic character. Madu, gives without minding the cost. How I wish I met him to experience such.
His great personality has made me to dedicate ‘Sports Chronicle’ February’s edition which is a love month to Madu as a way of remembering him in our hearts.
His contributions in Rangers were great, especially in 1977 Africa Cup Winners Cup now CAF Confederation Cup and 1978 African Nations Cup in Ghana where he was decorated with a bronze
Ramson Madu, a former Iwuanyanwu Nationale is the younger brother of Christian Madu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *