Rangers takes us back to 1984

Nigeria Airways was still a top Airline in 1984
In 1984, the young Imama Amapakabor was a form 3 student at a secondary school somewhere in Port Harcourt.

Aged just fourteen years old at the time, all he wanted was probably to play football, fight and chase girls.

Most likely, the only football clubs he knew at that time were Sharks, the local one in Port Harcourt and maybe, Calabar Rovers, Rangers International and IICC Shooting Stars.

One thing Imama Amapakabor certainly did not know that year was the fact that Enugu Rangers won the league title because he, maybe did not follow football that well at the time.

Incidentally, that would be their last league title and 32 years later, the then fourteen year old is on the verge of breaking the hoodoo and handing Rangers another trophy.

Thirty two years ago

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Rufai was still a cool cat in 1984
Perhaps at the end of Match Day 38 of the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League season a few words will trend on social media that have to do with the champions of the League.

We expect words like Enugu Rangers, NPFL, Imama Amapakabo, The Cathedral amongst others to trend because of their significance to the day.

In case of the unexpected happening, Rivers United, Uyo and Port Harcourt could also trend at the end of the day.

But one trend that must happen if Enugu Rangers eventually win the title on Sunday, October 2016 is 32 years or 1984.

This is simply because the last time they tasted glory was thirty two years ago in 1984.

Where were you in 1984?

Now the question is where were you in 1984 and what were you doing the year Rangers last won the Nigerian League title?

In 1984, Nigerians will remember that Major- General Muhammadu Buhari was Nigeria’s head of state. He had seized power in a bloodless coup d’etat from Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Buhari was selected to lead the country by middle and high-ranking military officers that overthrew, Shagari.
Recording artiste, Veno Marioghae released "Nigeria Go Survive"

Still talking politics, Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh security guards in New Delhi on October 31, 1984 and Anti-Sikh riots broke out, leaving 10,000 to 20,000 Sikhs dead in Delhi and surrounding areas with majority populations of Hindus.

If you love entertainment, then you may remember, that is if you were born then that in April 1984, soul music crooner, Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father, a day before his 45th birthday.

Also, Nigerian artiste, Veno Marioghae released her hit single, "Nigeria Go Survive” in the same year 1984.

Talking technology, Nigeria managed a “Made in Nigeria bus" in 1984. That project never took off, though.

United States of America based professor, Chuka Onwumechili, a sports historian and statistician told Naijafootball247.com that he was a staff of the Ministry of Information free lancing on sports stories for the now defunct Satellite Newspaper.

“But my biggest memory of that year was Nigeria’s surprise appearance in the AFCON final with a relatively young team.

“I remember watching the final on TV and feeling that we got to keep the margin close against a vastly experienced Cameroon side,” Professor Onwumechili said.

Calvin Onwuka of www.supersport.com told Naijafootball247.com that he started the year in form 3 and later was in form 4.

Made in Nigeria Bus in 1984. Chai!
“But I had two big memories of that year and one of them was Stephen Keshi leading the Green Eagles to the AFCON final while the other was the essential commodities situation of the Buhari and Idiagbon Administration,” Onwuka said.

Social media strategist, George Akpayen told Naijafootball247.com that he was in Primary 2 at the time.

“My major business at the time was the one kobo or two kobo in my pocket that could buy me the best of snacks. I also joined my dad a few times to watch, I think the old English league or maybe the German league but I am not really sure at this time,” Akpayen said.

Aikhoje Ojeikere of Supersport also recalls that he was at Command Secondary School in Ibadan at the time and says he lived at Ojoo Barracks with his father who was a major in the army at the time.

“I was a fan of IICC Shooting Stars at the time since we lived in Ibadan and didn’t know much about Rangers. Interestingly the first match I watched at the Liberty Stadium was between IICC and Rangers,” he told Naijafootball247.com.

“To be sincere, we didn’t even enter the stadium. My cousin lived behind and we could watch the game from his house.”

Lagos based sports editor, Dapo Sotiminu recalls that he was in Secondary School at Mushin where he also played football.

“I also remembered very well that Rangers won the League that year,” Sotiminu said.

Everyone has a memory of 1984… er.. At least every one who was born and already grown at the time.

Veteran journalist, Temi Okomi still used postage stamps to beg his parents for money
However, for fans of Rangers International it will most likely be the fact that their club on the League in Nigeria that year and the heartbreak they have had not able to win a trophy ever since.

Rangers have brought 1984 back to the fore for Nigerians once again, because of their bad luck and now their good fortune that ends their years of misery.

Where were you in 1984 and do you remember what you were doing? What do you remember about the year?

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