The first Nigerian to sign and play for a European club
In 1953, Titus Okere (b. March 22, 1929) became the first Nigerian to sign and play for a European club, Swindon Town FC in the United Kingdom.
Okere joined Ziks Athletic Club Bombers in 1938 and later joined Lagos Railways, where he captained the club.
In February 1953, Titus Okere signed a contract with Swindon Town FC, making him the first Nigerian to sign as a professional footballer and play for a European club.
As a 20-year-old, the left-wing wizard was one of the 18 pioneer members of Nigeria’s national football team who toured the United Kingdom in August 1949. The team was then known as the UK Tourists and later the Red Devils.
The 93-year-old (who has, since 1953, been living a quiet life in Kent, some 67 kilometres from London) is now the only surviving member of the team after the death of Nigeria’s first goalkeeper, Sam Henshaw Ibiam, on December 2, 2015, at the age of 90.