A pal of gloom descended on the city as the news of Chibuzor Nwakanma's death reached the football aficionados. The diminutive Nigerian forward became a household name for his impressive goal-poaching abilities as he turned out for all the three big clubs of Kolkata - East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting in a career spanning more than a decade.

The Nigerian forward came to India in the early 80s as a student but soon caught the eyes of the football scouts for his excellent abilities.

Chibuzor made his way to Kolkata on the advice of his friend Chima Okorie, who then was an established star with Mohammedan Sporting. Chibuzor joined East Bengal in 1986 and soon became a hit for his searing speed and excellent control that would make the opposition defence cringe.


Mohammedan Sporting striker Chibuzor tries to get a header away in a match against East Bengal.


Chibuzor later joined Mohammedan Sporting, where he formed a great partnership with Emeka Ezeugo, the man who went on to play the FIFA World Cup for Nigeria. In the later years, Chibuzor turned out for Mohun Bagan, where spent a few seasons with Chima. He hung his boots in 1998 after a brief stint with Goa's Churchill Brothers.

Chubuzor is remembered by his contemporaries as a jovial person who would be a constant source of entertainment in the dressing room. He became a priest after returning to his native country and used football as a means to reform the youth who drifted into crime.