Wilfred Agbonavbare

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Wilfred Agbonavbare
Personal information
Full name Wilfred Agbonavbare
Date of birth (1966-10-05)5 October 1966
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Date of death 27 January 2015(2015-01-27) (aged 48)
Place of death Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1989 New Nigeria Bank
1990 BCC Lions
1990–1996 Rayo Vallecano 177 (0)
1996–1997 Écija 23 (0)
National team
1983–1994 Nigeria 15 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Wilfred Agbonavbare (5 October 1966 – 27 January 2015) was a Nigerian footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

Club career[edit]

In his country, Lagos-born Agbonavbare played for New Nigeria Bank F.C. and BCC Lions FC. In 1990, he moved to Spain where he would spend the rest of his career, starting with Rayo Vallecano in Segunda División.[1]

In his second season with the Madrid outskirts club, Agbonavbare appeared in all 38 league games (3,332 minutes of action, 27 goals conceded, second-best in the competition) as the team finished second and returned to La Liga after two years of absence. He continued to be first-choice in the following years, contributing with 31 matches to another top flight promotion in 1995.

In 1995–96, Agbonavbare lost his starting position to Spanish international Abel Resino.[2] In the following summer, he signed for second level side Écija Balompié, being the most used player in his position but suffering team relegation; after one year in his country training to remain fit, he retired due to lack of offers at only 31.

International career[edit]

Agbonavbare appeared with the Nigerian under-20s at the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship in Mexico. He played for more than one decade with the full side, being selected for the 1994 African Cup of Nations and that year's FIFA World Cup, backing up Peter Rufai on both occasions.

Personal life[edit]

Agbonavbare settled in the Community of Madrid after retiring as a player, working as a delivery man and a goalkeeper coach. In late January 2015 it was revealed that he was suffering from cancer, and he subsequently underwent treatment at the Hospital Universitario Príncipe de Asturias in Alcalá de Henares.[3][4]

Both Agonavbare's former team Rayo Vallecano and its opponents Atlético Madrid displayed a banner during their league match at the Vicente Calderón Stadium on 24 January that read "Fuerza Wilfred" (You Can Do It Wilfred).[5] He succumbed to the disease three days later, aged 48.[6]


  1. ^ "El otro potro de Vallecas – Wilfred" [The other foal of Vallecas – Wilfred]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 12 December 1992. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "El Rayo llega con la intención de puntuar" [Rayo arrive with the intention of scoring]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 14 April 1996. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "El drama del ex portero rayista Wilfred" [The drama of former rayista goalkeeper Wilfred]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 20 January 2015. Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Gowon Akpodonor (21 January 2015). "Ex-Eagles' goalie Agbonavbare battles cancer in Spain". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Mensaje de fuerza para Wilfred" [Message of strength to Wilfred]. Marca (in Spanish). 24 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Wilfred Agbonavbare dies". Marca. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 

External links[edit]