Biography of Samuel Goziem Ikedi (December 6, 1946 – January 9, 2021). Samuel Goziem Ikedi, fondly called Uncle Sam, Uncle Sammy or Daddy Sammy, was born in Kaduna on the 6th December 1946 to the family of Fidelis Ikedi Agwazim and Meju Agwazim, both from Illah, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta state (then Bendel State).
He was the second of his parent’s eight children. He attended UNA Primary School and St John’s College both in Kaduna State.Samuel Goziem Ikedi had a passion for football and showed great talent for the round leather game at a very young age. This led him to an active football career which began at the age of 17 in Lagos State and spanned nearly two decades.
His career commenced when he and several other Midwesten region players yielded to the call by the then governor, Brig Samuel Ogbemudia to return home from wherever they were playing to represent their region. He answered the call. He played professionally for the Nigerian National Football team, where he proudly wore the No 10 jersey.
At the finals of the 1973 All African Games, he scored two of the three goals that led to the victorious defeat of the …… by the Green Eagles to win gold medal and the coveted cup. Sam Ikedi played for Vipers Football Club and Bendel Insurance Football Club, both based in Benin City. Until his demise, he was an active member of All Stars International.
On successful retirement from active play, he took on the role of Team Manager, Bendel Insurance FC, Benin City, and later as Coach of Inneh Queens FC, both in Benin City. Samuel Goziem Ikedi was a champion for football both locally and internationally, scouting for talent both home and abroad.
He strongly believed in the spirit of good sportsmanship and was always the first to extend a hand of friendship.
Sam Ikedi was also an excellent insurance broker and actuarist. He worked in Bendel Insurance Plc and was an exco of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI). He had several diplomas and certificates in marketing and insurance.
An avid reader, he was a well-versed historian, with vivid narratives of events and happenings in Nigeria and around the world. This earned him the title of “mobile encyclopedia” amongst his children. He believed that education was key to success and placed premium on quality education.
He was a true gentleman and a perfect example of what a “Nigerian” should be, non-tribalistic and a friend of all. He was a mentor and father to many. He believed in the open-house policy and everyone was welcomed to his house with/without notice. He didn’t need to have met you or not, to prepare a place at the table for you. He believed that there was good in everyone and saw greatness in all. He placed premium on family and friendship and is known to sacrifice for the comfort of others.
Sam Ikedi, a devout Catholic was a parishioner of St Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin City, and an active member of St Vincent de Paul. Whilst in Abuja, where he frequently visited family, he attended Holy Ghost Provincialate Catholic Centre, Katampe Diplomatic Extension, Abuja.
He is survived by his wife, Regina S. Ikedi; children – Nelly, Austin, Edith, Nneka and Ifeanyi; a brother – Chukwuka Ikedi; seven grandchildren – Yemike, Goziem, Kosi, Josiah, Gabriel, Hali and Eliana, proteges, nephews, nieces and in-laws. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. His legacy lives on, in his children and grandchildren
10 February for laying in state at Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City by 9 am then Service of Songs and Tributes Night by 4 pm same day.
12 February Requiem Mass by 12 noon at St John the Evangelist Illah Delta State followed be interment at Family house with refreshment.
14 February Thanksgiving Mass at St Paul’s Catholic Church Benin City by 9 am.