Rangers International of Enugu players, coaches and officials have joined in celebrating the birthday of their colleague, Solomon Okpako, with the entire squad caught in ecstasy right there on the training pitch.
The Flying Antelopes were merry and agog after their training session on Sunday evening, as they chorused songs of joy and joined in the cutting of the birthday cake for Okpako.
Although record books state that Okpako was born on May 1, 1990, the Coal City squad did not bat an eyelid in celebrating with Okpako, who started his career 2003 in the youth side of Bendel United of Benin City and was promoted to the senior team at age 15.
He left after his one-season to sign for Kano Pillars in January 2006, then joined Enyimba of Aba in January 2017, before switching over to Rangers late 2018 to be part of their campaign in the CAF Confederations Cup.
Okpako was called into camp for the Flying Eagles prior to the 2009 FIFA World Youth Championship (WYC) in Egypt but did not make Samson Yebowei Siasia’s final squad.
He was then called up to the Super Eagles prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, under Lars Lagerback after helping the home-based side win the 2010 WAFU Cup.
Okpako did not make the final squad to South Africa 2010 and has not been invited to the Eagles ever since, but his efforts with Rangers on the continental terrain may speak of better things ahead of his career.
Small wonder everyone connected with the team rallied round him, as he rolled out sweeties to mark a belated birthday on the pitch, and the Coal City side took to social media to highlight the event.
The club disclosed: “Solomon Okpako receive prayers as he celebrate his birthday with team mates after training. HBD Solomon!!!!!”