Bendel United F.C.
Bendel United F.C. (formerly Flash Flamingoes and Esan F.C.) is a Nigerian soccer club based in Uromi, Edo State. They are the current incarnation of a team whose roots go back to Flash Flamingoes F.C.
In the shadow of other Benin City teams Bendel Insurance and New Nigeria Bank, Flamingoes were founded in the early-1980s by Patrick Osakwe, currently a Senator for Delta State. The team took its name from a moniker used by Stationery Stores, then the most fashionable team in Nigeria. They were promoted to the Nigerian Premier League in 1985.
After placing 2nd in the 1988 Nigerian FA Cup, the team was bought by Bendel State governor Tunde Ogbeha and renamed Bendel United and the next season placed 4th in the Nigerian League and made it to the finals of the African Cup Winners' Cup before losing 1-0 aggregate to Al-Merrikh. Bendel United was relegated to the Second Division in 1992 and played three seasons there before getting relegated again to the 3rd division for one season. Returning to the 2nd level in 1997, they never could regain their old form and were relegated from the Professional League in 2005.
In 2006, the team was bought by controversial owner Igbinowahia Ekhosuehi from Solomon Edebiri and renamed Esan FC.
After being on hiatus, Edebiri announced plans in 2013 to resurrect the team under the name Bendel United.
- 1988 (runners-up)
- 1989 (runners-up)
- 1984-1988 Flash Flamingoes
- 1989-2006 Bendel United
- 2006–2012 Esan FC
- 2014-Present Bendel United