I’ll forever be indebted to Keshi – Troost-Ekong

Watford defender William Troost-Ekong says he will forever be indebted to late Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi.

Keshi passed away on June 7, 2016 aged 54, but the impact he left on his former players will continue to live on.

Troost-Ekong, who cited Keshi as one of the black men that inspired him as a person, made his debut under the former Togo coach in 2015 in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad and has since gone on to make 39 appearances for the Eagles.

Speaking in an interview on Watford’s youtube page, the centre-back bemoaned the passing away of his idol but said he would forever be remembered by him.

“Stephen Keshi is someone close to my heart,” Ekong said.

“He was my first manager with the Super Eagles. I made my debut under him, and then sadly, a few months later, he passed away, which was quite shocking at the time.

“And also being a central defender, he was a player I grew up watching and looking up to. He won the AFCON as a player and as a manager, had success with Togo as well.

“He was just a general very loving and caring person, so yeah, it’s sometimes difficult to come across people in the football industry that you can really relate to have a connection with.

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“But from the first time he called me up to be part of his team when I was 21 or I think 22, it was already something special that I spoke on the phone to a legend.

“Then a few months later, when I met him, and he actually put me in the team to make my debut, yeah, it was unbelievable.”

He added, “So I feel indebted to him for the rest of my life, and yeah, I feel like I didn’t have a chance to really say thank you to him for that moment because he passed so suddenly.

“Because like I said, he is someone very close to my heart and yeah, an idol for me on and off the pitch,”