By Danusa Ocholi
A former Nigerian International and club owner,, Benedict Akwuegbu, said he derived ” tremendous moment of joy “after mounting the podium to receive the Top Achiever’s Award from the Anglia Ruskib University, ARU, London, United Kingdom, recently.
Akwuegbu, who is currently a 200 Level Mental Health Nurse undergraduate of the institution, entered the record books as the first Nigerian nay African who retired from footballer to be so honoured by the University.
Akwuegbu had an illustrious playing career, spanning through the U-17s, U-20s and the senior national team, the Super Eagles. He equally played for several clubs in Nigeria as well as in Europe and Asia, notably in Belgium and the Peoples’ Republic of China. He is also the owner of a soccer outfit, Akwuegbu United FC. .He was a member of Nigeria’s AFCON 2000 silver-winning Super Eagles as well as a member of Nigeria’s 2002 FIFA World Cup held in Korea and Japan. He had spells with a host of domestic clubs in the country before he move to Europe, featuring prominently several Austrian clubs including Stum Gratz where he was nick-named ‘Austrian Bomber’.
The English FA -licensed coach would later sojourn back to Europe to upgrade himself academically to be a position to face future challenges.
Such was Akwuegbu’s tall profile that attracted the fancy of Award organisers to bestow on the Mbaise, Imo State born and Mighty Jets striker the Top Achiever’s Award, further swelling his already feather filled cap.
He thanked Nigerians for their support for him over the years, and above all God Almighty for making the recognition for him possible.
“I thank my countrymen and women for their prayers and support, and for always standing by me” he stated. In all he said:
“I’m excited, it’s another step up in my life and I thank the organisers for finding me worthy of this exalted honour”, Akwuegbu responded.
“During my playing days, I won several trophies. Its like more are coming, this time, from outside of the pitch”.
Reflecting further on what the Award means to him, Akwuegbu quickly disclosed that it was a call for him to always hold his head high while contributing to the good of the society.
“Its like a huge challenge. To whom much is given, they say, much is expected.
“You are pushed to always work hard for the good of all and just for yourself.
But most importantly, I thank God for the award, and my countrymen and women for their support and belief in me.” He concluded.