“Sam Henshaw Ibiam (4 April 1925 – 2 December 2015), popularly known as The Black Magnet during his playing days, was a Nigerian footballer who played as a goalkeeper for the pioneer Nigerian national football team who were regarded as the “1949 UK Tourists”. It is claimed that he conceded just five goals in his nine years of representing Nigeria till he retired from international football in 1958.”
culled from Wikipedia
Mr Sam Ibiam of blessed memory is one who may have passed on to the land of no return but will surely be remembered and celebrated as one who was a pioneer goalkeeper for Nigeria’s National team known as the Super Eagles.
Although his heroics were not well documented after much research, oral tradition have it that he was at his best for the country during his days. Here is a man, who was born in Ebonyi state, Nigeria. He was reported to have come to limelight after featuring for the Port Harcourt XI team that got to the semi-finals of the old Governor’s Cup from 1947 to 1949, thus leading to his call-up to represent Nigeria in the tour of the United Kingdom.
He was also said to be have been recognized for his achievements by being awarded a trophy at the “First National Sports Award for Sports Heroes and Heroines of Yesteryear” in 1987.
During his after playing days, he was said to have lamented being abandoned by the government after his retirement from active football.
He said, “I lost interest because of the treatment given us. Since we stopped playing, no government has deemed it fit to recognize what we did for Nigeria. All that has more or less killed one’s interest in the game. That is why I hardly watch soccer these days.” When interviewed by a journalist while alive.
We at CP Africa, therefore celebrate this man who remains a hero in the history of Nigerian football.