One of the most celebrated women in the African football and four-time joint-record winner of the Africa Women's Player of the Year award, Perpetua Nkwocha, has lost her husband, Ernest Ikechukwu Nwufoh.
According to a statement exclusively obtained by SportNews Africa on Sunday, Nwufoh, a writer and senior lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Akwa, died on Sunday, at a private hospital in the capital city of Anambra state after a brief illness.
The deceased hails from the late Nze Dilibe Amachukwu Nwufoh family of Ifite, Nibo in Akwa South Local Government Area of Anambra State in South East Nigeria.
According to a source in the family, meetings are been held over burial arrangements of late Nwufoh, with an official date to be made public in due course.
The unfortunate development is coming just five years after the duo walked down the aisle at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Emekuku, Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State on March 28, 2016, in Owerri, Imo state.
The bereaved football great, Nkwocha, represented Nigeria in seven African Women Championship (now called Africa Women's Cup of Nations) tournaments in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 and won the title in five of those editions (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014).
At the 2004 African Women Championship, she scored four goals in the final against Cameroon to help Nigeria retain the title and also set a record by scoring nine goals - most ever in a single tournament, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the competition
Nkwocha was voted African Women's Footballer of the Year four times in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011 by Caf. She was also African Women Championship Top Scorer three times - 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Nkwocha also featured in four FIFA Women's World Cup final competitions (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015), as well as three Olympics (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).
Since her retirement from football in 2015, Nkwocha served as coach of Clemensnas IF, and also her former teAm Sunnana SK - Both in Sweden. She was also an assistant coach of the Super Falcons team that won the 2016 Africa Women's Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
By Samuel Ahmadu