The Time Nigeria Football Team Played International Match With Bare Foot

Posted by Timige, On 25 Dec, 2020 | Updated On 25 Dec, 2020 No Comments »

Nigeria football national team played against England without wearing soccer boots. They played the match bare-footed and beat England 5-2.

Nigerian Football Team Play against Marine F.C without boots. Circa 1949

The Elder Dempster ship, MV Apapa, arrived at the Liverpool docks at 8.30am on Monday, August 29, 1949. On board were eighteen Nigerian football players, Captain Donald.H.Holley {Chairman of the Nigerian Football Association} and his wife. The players were in the United Kingdom to play nine goodwill matches against English amateur clubs.

Thirteen of the eighteen players were from the Lagos and District League, two from the Western Provinces, two from the Eastern Provinces and one from the Northern Provinces.

It was the players’ first sea voyage and they feared they would be sea sick on the two week journey from Lagos to Liverpool. None was sick. They kept fit for the tour by running several times around the ship’s deck every morning and evening. Below in the ship’s cargo were Nigerian food items {rice, palm oil, dried shrimps, yam, ham, mutton, and red pepper} to sustain the players while they were in the United Kingdom.

The Nigerians wore olive green jerseys and white shorts and they played with strips of white adhesive plasters around their big toes to prevent them splitting. They also wore white elastic ankle and knee supports plus green football socks with cut-off feet. Ten of the players played with their bare feet except one player, Dokubo, who wore lightly soled canvas shoes because he was used to them.

The Nigerian Team won the Match 5-2 against Marine F.C
Video Source: Reuters/British Pathe

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