The former captain of the Cameroon national team, the Indomitable Lions, Stephen Eta Tataw has died.
The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) and his family confirmed that the famous Italia ’90 captain died at his home in Yaounde on Friday after a “protracted illness.”
The right-back captained the Cameroon national team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1990 Fifa World Cup in Italy. Cameroon was the first African nation to reach that last eight of the competition after defeating Argentina, Romania and Colombia. They were knocked out by England in extra-time.
Tataw also captained the Indomitable Lions at the 1994 edition of the tournament in the USA where they were knocked out in the first round.
The defender played for Cameroonian sides Tonnerre of Yaounde and Olympic Mvolye still in the country’s capital before ending his playing days in Japan with Tosu Futures.
He worked with Fecafoot before his demise following his retirement from football.
Social media has been awash with tributes from former teammates, fans and soccer lovers since the death of the emblematic defender was made public.
Cameroon’s most prominent player at the 1990 World Cup, Roger Milla posted a photo of him and Tataw at the tournament waving at fans after their quarter-finals elimination by England with hashtag #StephenTataw.
Former Indomitable Lions goalkeeper, Joseph Antoine Bell who played with Tataw twitted: “Stephen Tataw is gone. Another Lion is leaving us in these difficult times. The memories jostle. Those of the African Cup of Nations won together in Morocco in 1988, of the World Cup in Italy 2 years later. Goodbye captain! RIP.”
Rigobert Song, who played with Tataw at the 1994 World Cup before inheriting the captain's armband a few years later simply wrote, “the captain is dead.”