Gambia legend Momodou Njie ‘Biri Biri has passed away aged 72 after a long battle with illness.
He died in Dakar on Sunday where he’s been receiving treatment, his former teammate Sheikh Ndure confirmed to The Chronicle.
The former Gambia international, was affectionately known as one of Africa’s most complete footballers of all time.
“It’s an irreplaceable loss,” said Sheikh Ndure. “Biri was a unique personality on and off the field.”
Before his time in Europe, Biri Biri played for Black Diamonds, Phantoms and Augustians in The Gambia, as well as Mighty Blackpool of Sierra Leone. He was spotted by a Danish club during a training camp in The Gambia in 1972. He left them in 1973 for Spanish team Sevilla FC. He was the first black player to play for Sevilla, and was considered one of their best players. Biri Biri returned to Denmark to play for Herfolge Boldklub in 1980, and in 1981 he signed with Wallidan F.C. back in The Gambia, for whom he played until retirement in 1987.
Amadou Diop, Captain of the Senegalese National Football Team in 1985 described Biri as an imaginative attacker who always excelled with the ball. “He was one of Africa’s most complete footballers of all time, Diop tells The Chronicle.
In 1963, Biri became the youngest player to ever play for The Gambia in what today is still remembered as the last time The Gambia beat Senegal by three goals to two with all three goals emanating from the football prodigy, Biri Biri