The heartbroken son of the legendary footballer Momodou Njie Biri Biri has paid a poignant tribute to his ‘amazing dad’.
Biri, one of Africa’s best footballers of all time died on Sunday, aged 72.
The passing of the icon has left the sporting world in mourning, with many footballers, clubs and fans expressing their grief.
His son Yusupha Njie said the demise of his father left him ‘heartbroken’. A national team player, Yusupha 26, currently plays for the Portuguese club Boavista.
“My hero and friend is gone and my heart is broken, Njie said in a Facebook post. “I can never be strong enough to accept that you’re no longer here with us. I will feel your presents in my life everyday and your memories will keep me moving.”
Yusupha was particularly close to his father, who even after years of retirement made sure his football-mad son stayed focused to pursue his career. “I still hold on to your good advices and kind words, Njie wrote. “I know even if you are not in this world to protect me, you are right in heaven serving as my guardian angel. “I’m so proud to call you my dad and happier to be your son. My superhero, he loved and accepted me for who I am. “We all will miss you and will pray for you always, till we meet again.”
On Wednesday, he was honoured in a state funeral in the Gambian capital, Banjul and later laid to rest at the Jeshwang cemetery.
Biri was part of the first generation of African professional footballers to have plied their trade in Europe with Danish, English and Spanish sides B1901, Derby County and Sevilla respectively. He’s also the first Gambian professional footballer.
He represented The Gambia more than 50 times before retiring in the mid-1980s but continued to play club football with Wallidan. He finally hung up his football boots in 1987.
In later years he would go on to become deputy mayor of Banjul between 1994 and 2005 and served as the manager of the Royal Albert market in the city.
This video below captures Biri and Yusupha in Seville nine years ago.