By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Former coach of the Super Eagles, Paul Ebiye Hamilton, is dead, according to his wife, Durdy.
He was aged 75.
Hamilton, who was a former Green Eagles attacker, has been bedridden for months, before his left leg was amputated earlier this year from the knee at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, died in his house at Surulere, Lagos.
The onetime Super Falcons head coach, is the third former Super Eagles coach to die in the last one year, after coaches Stephen Keshi and Shaibu Amodu, who died last year.
“My husband (Paul Hamilton) is dead o. What you heard is true. As I speak with you, I’m at the Military Hospital in Yaba,” Durdy Hamilton said, adding that she was with some doctors for a meeting.
Popularly called ‘Wonder Boy’ in his playing days, Hamilton was from Bayelsa State.
He retired from public service as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Head of Technical Department.
He was diagnosed with heart and kidney related problems months before his death.
Unfortunately, his former employer, NFF, turned deaf ears to pleas that his pension be paid to take care of his health.
This largely explained why Hamilton was not getting the desired help he needed, as his health became critical.
His health took a nosedive, after he lost two of his beloved sons in quick succession with the youngest, Preye, who was a national tennis star before travelling to the United States to pursue education and tennis died in US.
Later, his first son, Timi, a certified engineer, died, one death, which hit the amiable man like a hurricane.
Hamilton, who was amputated three weeks ago, was recovering fine and improving before he died.
“He’s not diabetic. He had a leg injury. It was an injury he sustained during his days as a footballer, which affected his bone. He’s now gradually managing to move around,” Durdy said.
The former Director, Technical Department of the Nigeria Football Federation, has, however, not been discharged from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, it was further learnt.
Although the family did not want the news of Hamilton’s injury to go public, his employer for many years, NFF, was aware of his state of health.
“They knew about his health conditions since last year; even the Sports Minister (Solomon Dalung) knows about it,” Durdy revealed.
Chairman NFF Technical Committee, Chris Green, admitted that he was aware of Hamilton’s health status, saying he would ensure that the federation’s president, Amaju Pinnick, play a big role in helping the coach, who led Nigeria to a third-place finish at the 1985 U-20 World Cup in Russia.
“I’m aware he was amputated. I don’t know, if he’s gone home yet. Amaju is in Doha along with the NFF General Secretary but I’m trying to write a memo to the federation asking for assistance for him (Hamilton) because the man was our coach, assistant coach, national team captain and even technical director. This is the twilight of his life; we can’t pretend that we don’t know what is happening to him,” Green said.
Hamilton spent the major part of his career at the defunct ECN, where he won the Challenge Cup (now Federation Cup) twice in 1965 and 1970.
After managing the U-20 side, he was given the Super Eagles coaching job in 1989, but was fired, after the team’s unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 1990 World Cup.
It would be recalled that Hamilton had the rare task of handling the first national women’s football team, Super Falcons.
He took the team to two FIFA Women’s World Cup final in China and Sweden in 1991 and 1995, respectively.