Monday, December 5, 2016

National Team Players Sharing Names

There are several Nigerian national team players, sometimes related, who share last names but few share first and last names. The latter case is rare and it often creates confusion in their historical record. Such confusion is then solved by using a middle name or attaching a I or II to identify each one. It is this latter case that is addressed in this piece.

It is not unusual to expect the sharing of first and last names to occur with players named Mohammed but amazingly there is no Nigerian international with first and last names where one of those names is Mohammed. Surprising, but factual.

Instead, we found other names where this sharing occurs. A unique case is where the names Kalu and Uche are used by two players, one has Kalu as last name and the other has Uche as a last name. Both players are still active. In another case, two players share same first and last names but confusion is avoided only because one of the players -- Mikel Obi -- changed his name from Michael to Mikel after it was reportedly misspelled.  In total, there are 12 players identified in the research as sharing first and last names.

The most notable players were Peter Anieke I and Peter Anieke II. Anieke I played from 1949 to 1955 and a younger Peter Anieke II played from 1965 until 1973. Both went with the alias "Baby" but the younger Peter later used another alias "Eusebio." The most surprising in the data set is Augustine Fregene because the name Fregene is not a name encountered regularly in Nigeria, except in Warri. Take a look at the table below: