The Nigerian Football Team 1949

I’m not the biggest fan of football 😂 so …. whilst the match was on I did a little digging in the archives…

In August 1949, 18 Nigerian footballers along with their manager Capt, D.H Holley would leave the shores of Nigeria for the first time to embark as an international team on a one month tour of England.

After their two week Journey by sea to Liverpool, the teams manager Capt. Holley was given a telegram. It read His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh sends to the team his very best wishes and hopes they will have an enjoyable visit.”

The players were in the United Kingdom to play nine goodwill matches despite what their manager had said during a press conference in Ikoyi Lagos, about the tour determining if the Nigerian team would go to the Olympic games of 1952. The teams manager Capt Holly said “it means 18 of you are blazing the trail for the 1952 footballers!

It means the whole of the 1952 Olympics will depend on your performance in England!

It means if we didn’t send out a team to represent Nigeria in Helsinki in 52, it means the UK team of 1949 will be responsible for that failure.

It means you must do the job!!…..

The teams Captain was Etim Henshaw

They won their first match against Marine Crosby Football Club 5- 2.

The match referee admitted afterwards that he had not seen barefooted footballers before but,” by gum, these lads are good.” The spectators surged on to the pitch after the match and carried the victorious Nigerians shoulder-high to the dressing room.

Their second match against Bishop Auckland Football Club resulted in a loss for Nigeria, 5 -2

Then Nigerian beat Bromley 3 – 1

In total the Nigerian team won two, drew two and lost five matches during their month-long tour.

The players were treated like royalty during their tour – feted everywhere with receptions and dinners in their honour. This occurred in every city and town they stayed and played.

The Nigerian team left Liverpool for Lagos on September 29 on board the R.M.M.S Accra ( seen in the photo)

A significant outcome of the 1949 UK tour was that it opened the door for the migration of Nigerian footballers to the country. Some members of the 1949 tour would return and become the first generation of Nigerian footballers to play for English clubs – Ottun (South Liverpool F.C.), Titus Okere (Swindon Town), and Tesilimi Balogun (Peterborough United and Queen’s Park Rangers).

The Nigerian team would also pave the way for other African football tours to the UK – the 1951 Gold Coast (Ghana) tour and 1956 Uganda tour. The English Football Association sent an English team in 1958 to tour Nigeria and Ghana

Volkswagen Beetle – The End Of An Era

After roughly seven decades of production and three generations of designs, today Volkswagen retired its iconic Beetle (again)

The iconic brand made a comeback in 1997 (and a restyle in 2011) after the original Beetle ceased production in the US market two decades earlier

NIGERIA: Towards the end of the 1980s the industry was negatively affected by a downturn in the economy and reduced government subsidy.

Volkswagen increased the cost of their vehicles as a result of a depreciating naira and would eventually shift market focus to selling the Kombi and eventually ceasing production of their other models.

Volkswagen went from an annual production of 29,300 in 1981 to less than 1000 by 1989.

Here is my copy of a letter from England to Nigeria where a potential customer inquired about purchasing a Volkswagen car in September 1986.

‘Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter dated August 21, 1986 and for the interest you have shown in our company’s product programme.

You will find enclosed brochures of all the models currently being produced by our company. These are the Beetle; the Kombi; the VW Ambulance; and the Santana.

We suspended the production of the Golf and the Jetta last year for economic reasons but we hope to review the decision at the appropriate time when the situation of the Nigerian economy has returned to normal


Yours faithfully,


Mr Kruschwitz

GM, Marketing