Father played with Pele, uncle died in the pitch in Sudan. Teenager John Idahor determined to continue family's football rollercoaster journey in a successful way as he shines in Turkey

By Daily Sports on December 25, 2018

Views: 1,409

Talk of one who is from a thoroughbred football family and 18-year old John Idahor, the Bayrampasa Altintepsispor of Turkey suave attacking midfielder fits the bill. Idahor's playing style has received rave reviews from many who've watched him play in the Nigerian first division league with Dynamite Force (where he was one of the standout players of the just-ended season) and now in Turkey for its on and off the ball intelligence, underpinned by genuine qualities of calmness and personal charm in and out of football action, a charm that endears him so much to people. 
idahor's football was shaped in the early years by his father, Elvis Idahor at the latter's Flamingoes Football Academy in Benin City. 
John has the imprints of his father's tutelage in his game. Like his protegee, Elvis was a midfielder with silky skills. 
John's well weighed passes, intelligent positional play and spatial awareness without the ball,  graceful movements on it, laced  with an eye for easy touches and killer passes were qualities which were honed in him by his father and they were on display with Dynamite FC and today Bayrampasa  and Turkish fans are being fed with them and are enjoying watching the young lad whose star is certainly on the rise.  
His uncles, Endurance and Lucky Idahor were very accomplished players until relatively recently.  Unfortunately, in March 2010 tragedy struck the Idahor family and Nigerian Football when Endurance Idahor, then playing for Al-Merreikh in the Sudanese top flight, where he was a popular goal poacher, slumped and died in the pitch. 
It was a very sad incident and this contributed in shaping the philosophical attitude of a young John who, in this interview I had with him,  bares his mind on the tragic incident and his determination to hit greater heights in football to keep his family's name etched in more glory. 
Me: Your dad played with Pele. Tell me when and where and how he related the story to you his kids. 
Idahor: It all started when he was young. 
Then they nicknamed him the “School boy millionaire”. He was so good and quick a midfielder. 
His performance in his club led to his call up to the national team then called the Green Eagles in 1978. They where preparing for The All African Games in Algeria and they played a friendly match in Lagos with Brazilian club side Fluminense who had the great football legend Pele playing for them at that time.  That  experience inspired him amd he inspired me to play football and be better than he was. 
Me:What were the things you will never forget learning from your dad's Academy from where you started? What's the name of the Academy?
Idahor: It all began when I was a kid. I was schooling then and my dad has a football academy Called “Flamingo Football Academy”.  That was my starting point. It was there I learnt so much in football because my dad was the coach and a great footballer too. He imparted so much in me.He always encouraged me to Play football. 
He taught me the basics and tactics of football; how to pass,  how to open to space and all that. 
He made me to be fearless when playing. 
No matter how big the opponents were, he would still put me in the game. 
He always advised me not to lose the ball unnecessarily to an opponent. He taught me so many things that improved my game and I will never forget the special words he keeps telling me. 
“The best player is the player without the ball" and “Good goals are scored from the wings"
It was a nice experience playing for him. 
Me:Your uncle Endurance Idahor sadly passed away in the pitch in Sudan when you were quite young. Tell me how you got to hear of this and how you took it as a child
Idahor: When I was growing up I heard the saddest news of my life when my uncle Endurance the powerful striker who was playing in Sudan passed away in the field of play. It was a sunday morning. We were called and they told us the news. I burst into tears.  It was so painful and heartbreaking. Though we didn’t get to spend time that much beause he was not always around, 
I was opportuned to play with him on December  31st the year before he passed away. 
It was a nice experience playing with him.
It was so hard for me to compose myself when I heard he was gone. He was an inspiration to the family. 
I was in serious grief and I cried so much. 
I know if he was still alive today he would have been in a top division club. 
 I have beautiful memories of him which I keep dearly. God Knows best. 
 I know where he is now ans I know very well he is proud of me for keeping the Idahor name going. 
Me: You played in the Nigerian division 1 League and were quite popular amongst the fans who enjoyed your football.What are the qualities you are bringing from Nigeria into Turkish football?
Idahor: The qualities I acquired in Nigeria from Dynamite Force have been very useful here.  The energy, the style of play, the positioning and all are things I'm showing here in Turkey. 
I'm glad the fans love watching me. My name has been chanted by the fans here and I love that. 
They call me Di Maria because they said I’m full of skills. 
I really have many thanks for my coaches at Dynamite Force for improving me as a player. Coach Johnbull (JB),  Anthony Emoedofu (Poropo) and coach Egbon(Coach of Mission side Fc)and so many I can’t remember now. 
Me:Many are calling for your 
invitation to the under 21 camp. How eager are you to play for Nigeria?
Idahor: Well playing for the nationalteam would be an honour to me.  It’s not easy to represent the country. 
My dad had played for Nigeria,  My late uncle too, as well my other uncle Lucky Idahor who is my mentor and has retired now. 
So you see the family line keeps moving. 
It will be a great honour to by invited to the Under 20 camp 

I heard the under 20 coach Paul Aigbogun is a sound tactician and  good man. I would like to play for him if he calls upon me.


Pix-mix photo shows Elvis Idahor with Pele at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos in 1978 and (R) John Idahor in Turkey. 

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 25, 2018


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