BRIEF TESTIMONIAL OF LATE NIGERIAN INTERNATIONAL SOCCER STAR, EMMANUEL INIKIO EBIEDE AKA “SNAKE MAN”.
(1). The late Nigerian international soccer star, Emmanuel Inikio Ebiede who was fondly called Snake Man was born on the 27th of March, 1978 in the Old Township area of Port Harcourt City, and started his football exploits on the streets as a little kid.
(2). As a teenager, Ebiede played for defunct Larry’s Angels; NPA Sea-Siders and also made the team that represented Nigeria at the under 16 YSFON Competition in America, and won the Cup in the earlier 90s.
(3). True to the saying that “a golden fish has no hiding place”, Inikio signed a contract with the defunct 1st. division Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt in his very early teens, and played under the Coaching of Monday Sinclair, Davison Bobmanuel and late Jokar Wreakar; alongside other wonderful players like Tamunosiki Mathias, Thobman Samuel, George Datoru, Late Ernest Teigbayo, Inigbelabia Fubara aka Egbe, Kennedy Okogba aka Waibo, Kennedy Boboye, Medley Davies, Sam Agams, Findi George, Iyenemi Furo, Imama Amapakabo etc.
(4). Shortly, his sterling performance in the Nigerian football league brought several offers from international scouts, this gave the him the opportunity to start his international career at the age of 17 (1995), and had wonderful records of goals scoring, several assists and fantastic display of skills in the following teams.
* SC. Eendracht Aalst FC., Belgium ~ 1995–1997.
*SC. Heerenveen FC., Netherlands ~ 1997–1999.
* Al Jazira FC., United Arab Emirates ~ 1999–2001.
* Al Ain FC., United Arab Emirates ~ 2001–2002.
* Al Dhafra FC., United Arab Emirates ~ 2002.
* Al-Wasl FC., United Arab Emirates ~ 2003 – 2004.
*Ashdod FC., Israel ~ 2004 ~ 2006.
* Maccabi Petah Tikva FC., Israel ~ 2006 ~ 2007
* Hapoel Bnei Lod FC., Israel ~ 2007 ~ 2008.
* Nigeria’s Super Eagles ~ 1998.
(5). On arrival from UAE in one of his off season, he also briefly played for the defunct Dolphins Football Club of Port Harcourt under coach Musa Abdulahi as head coach, coach Buama (Ghanaian) as assistant coach; that contract was influenced by the Distinguished Senator Allwell Onyesoh who was the then Commissioner for Sports in Rivers, before he moved back to Isreal.
(6). Inikio can also be best described as a humanitarian who gave all he had to encourage young and upcoming footballers, his periodic return to Nigeria during his international career was always greeted by wide jubilations; Inikio will on daily basis (while in town) commit his time to solve the financial problems of countless number of people, and also share football boots, balls, jerseys and other very expensive kits to hundreds of hidden young talents at different local football fields in the Old Township area of Port Harcourt.
(7). Until his sad demise on the 14th of April, 2023, Inikio was a member of the Brazil All Stars FC., Area United Social Club, Crystal Stars All Stars FC., and an associate member of many other All Stars Football Clubs in Port Harcourt and beyond.
(8). Emmanuel Ebiede will be greatly missed, but his uncommon generousity, down to earth lifestyle, participation in the activities of the Old Port Harcourt Township, and his fantastic football skills will always be remembered.
Rest in heaven’s glory my dear friend.
~ Robertson Jack,
* Old Port Harcourt Township.