Saturday, June 02, 2018 12.38PM / Press Release
The History of Football in Nigeria tells the hugely significant story of the rise of football in colonial Nigeria as a unifying cultural force in the country.
The origins of the game in Nigeria, the history of organised football, the institutions that produced the early football stars, the first Nigerian players to play abroad, Nigeria’s first international matches, the earliest rivalries and narratives on football’s incursion into the southern and northern regions, are some of the subjects that form the basis of this incredible social history of Nigeria.
Lucid, entertaining and insightful, the writer introduces you to key historical characters ranging from the colonial officers, western missionaries and school principals to the Nigerian political leaders and founding fathers who influenced the rise of football as both a popular pastime and a unifying force for the country.
After undertaking the difficult task of researching Nigeria’s colonial era, conducting dozens of primary interviews, and collating documented history on the roots of football in the country from local and foreign archives, Dr. Wiebe Boer came up with a fabulous book that is destined to become an essential read for understanding Nigeria’s intriguing relationship with football and how the game has played such an important role in the construction of Nigeria's national identity.
Commentary on “A STORY OF HEROES AND EPICS: The History of Football in Nigeria (1904-1960)”
In this book, Dr. Boer has gone to the lengths and breadths of Nigeria to reveal the story of how football became so important to us as a nation. Though introduced by foreigners, football quickly became indigenised and was an important element for anti-colonial protest, the development of a Nigerian national identity, and nation building.
Amaju Melvin Pinnick, President, Nigeria Football Federation
For a country where heroes are hardly celebrated and epic football is almost forgotten, this book takes the reader on an enthralling historical excursion. Very well researched and most lucidly presented, it is a must-have for everyone in the local game. Indeed, finally, here is a keepsake for those who have yearned for an enchanting reservoir of facts on Nigeria’s football history from the turn of the century to 1960.
Dr. Larry Izamoje – Chairman/CEO, Sports Radio 88.9 Brila FM, Nigeria
The most detailed and certainly the best written account of the pre-Independence history of Nigerian football I have ever read. Wiebe Boer has combined facts and figures with fluid prose in delivering a most engaging narration.
Simon Kolawole – Journalist and founder of The Cable
I am very pleased to see that in this deeply researched book on the history of football in colonial Nigeria, Dr. Boer has worked painstakingly to tell a positive and unifying story of Nigeria – one that focuses on what we have in mmon, and what makes us collectively great as a nation.
Aliko Dangote – President and CEO, Dangote Group
This book will become known as one of the most important references for not only learning about the history of football in Nigeria but also the history of Nigeria itself and this doesn’t even describe well enough, how good it is.
Olakunle Kasumu – Presenter / Co-Producer, the Channels Book Club TV Show
I appreciate how Dr. Boer, my primary school classmate, has finally brought to light the story of my father, John Dankaro, and Nigeria’s other early football stars and the roles they played in unifying and bringing glory to the nation. This book is a must read, not just for fans of Nigerian football, but fans of Nigeria itself.
Joseph Dankaro – Department of Sociology, University of Abuja
In this deeply researched, but highly readable book, Dr. Boer has brought his well-honed skill as a professional historian to the service of Nigerian history and Nigerian football. As he unearths precious gems of facts and connects ordinarily unrelated events, he demonstrates how deeply rooted the game of football is in Nigerian cultural heritage. And for those of us who have lamented the growing lack of interest in our history by the younger generation, Dr. Boer shows how we can employ our passion for football to rekindle interest in the history of our country.
Bolaji Abdullahi – Forrmer Minister of Sports & Youth Development, Federal Republic of Nigeria
As both a fiercely passionate Nigerian and an avid football fan, I had never connected these two elements but reading this book I developed a deeper understanding of my history, and a clearer vision of how we can continue to grow together.
Jude ‘MI’ Abaga – CEO, Chocolate City Music
Wiebe Boer has by this work, The Story of Heroes and Epics: The History of Football in Nigeria, made
a tremendous contribution to the sport of soccer, its documentation and its import on the national history of Nigeria. This book will have an impact, not only as a resource material for the evolution of the sport and hopefully instigating research into other sports, but it also is a cursory study in the still evolving nation, Nigeria.
Donald Duke, former Executive Governor of Cross River State
· Paper back — N5,000
· Hard cover — N7,500
Bookshops and other outlets
Not in bookshops yet but will be in Quintessence, Terra Kulture, home stores, plus available at book presentation on June 10th.