Yekini, who is remembered for being the Nigeria’s all-time top goal scorer and widely considered one of the best Nigerian athletes of all time, was born on 23rd October 1963 in Kaduna State.
Yekini died on 4th May 2012 in Ibadan.
He scored 37 international goals for the Super Eagles in 58 appearances, earning an average of 0.64 goals per game. That record is yet to be broken since his last game for Nigeria in 1998.
Yekini displaced Segun Odegbami, who scored 24 goals in 48 matches via a hattrick at his 37th international cap for Nigeria when the Super Eagles played against Ethiopia in a 6-0 whitewash at the National Stadium, Lagos on July 27, 1993.
Yekini also set a record when he became the first Nigerian footballer to win the CAF African Footballer of the Year award in 1993, thereby opening a floodgate of best player titles for other Nigerian players, when Emmanuel Amuneke claimed it in 1994, Victor Ikpeba in 1997 and Nwankwo Kanu took the title in 1996 and 1999.
Unfortunately, no Nigerian has won the title since Kanu’s in 1999.
Nigeria got its first World Cup ticket courtesy of goals from Yekini, who scored eight goals in the qualification series to ensure Nigeria’s flag was finally flown at USA 1994 Mundial.
Interestingly, Yekini scored Nigeria’s first World Cup goal via a cross from Finidi George, a goal he celebrated with ecstasy by grabbing the net, and vigorously shaking it as he screamed and looked at the heavens. Goal.com listed Yekini’s jubilation as its eighth best-ever goal celebration at the World Cup, describing it as “one of the iconic moments in World Cup history. Raw emotion at its absolute best.”
Yekini played his last match for Nigeria on 22nd February, 1998 in a friendly match between Nigeria and Jamaica played in Kingston. Yekini scored a goal in the 2–2 draw.