Ex-youth international thanks fans after rocket attack

Ex-youth international thanks fans after rocket attack

Former Nigerian footballer Ibezito Ogbonna has thanked fans of Hapoel Tel Aviv for their support after narrowly escaping death in Israel last week.

The fans have launched a fund-raising campaign to help Ogbonna, who scored 40 goals in 132 appearances for Israel’s second most successful side, and his family after their apartment in the Israeli city of Ashdod was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza last week.

Ogbonna, his wife and two young daughters were at home during the attack and although his family were unhurt, the former Kaizer Chiefs man was injured and taken to hospital following injuries sustained during the explosion that was part of a recent 15-day escalation in violence between Israel and Gaza.

The 38-year-old, who won the Israeli Cup with Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2006 and 2007, is still still remembered fondly by fans of The Red Demons, despite leaving the club 14 years ago.

“Hapoel Tel Aviv fans have been incredibly amazing, without my knowledge they had started a fundraising to help support me,” Ogbonna told BBC Sport Africa. “As soon as the news broke that my apartment was hit, they started reaching out and calling my phone. I didn’t ask them for anything yet they were offering to help.”

He continued: “I remember one of them got my contact and I think he put it out on the fan page for other supporters to reach out. Messages of love, prayers and unbelievable support from a club I left over a decade ago.

“Some were telling me to come over to theirs if I had no place to stay,” the former Enugu Rangers and Sharks of Port Harcourt striker added. “They’ve gone out to buy stuff and clothes for me and my family.

“I was getting deliveries of different things at the hotel without even knowing about it. I don’t even know these guys. It’s a massive love and I can’t thank them enough.

“It’s another proof that wherever you find yourself as a footballer or whatever you do. Be a good person and respect everyone because you never know when life will bring you back again.

Source: Sports – Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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