This Black History Month, Tranmere Rovers in the Community (TRIC) are celebrating the first anniversary of our partnership with the Elkanah Onyeali Care Foundation (EOCF).
TRIC partnered with EOCF last October after Obidinma Onyeali, the president of the foundation and son of Elkanah, told us it was the last wish of his father to be recognised by Rovers.
Elkanah was Tranmere’s first black player and one of the first Nigerians to play professional football in Britain. He scored nine goals in his 16 appearances for Rovers after joining in 1960.
Since the beginning of our partnership last October, our work with the foundation has included sending Tranmere shirts over to Nigeria to present to the winners of their tournament in memory of Elkanah in December 2022, and welcoming Obidinma over to watch a Tranmere match in March this year.
Obidinma came to watch Rovers play Newport County, a fixture which his father also played in during his time at Prenton Park.
The son of Elkanah gave a speech to each of the lounges in attendance for the match about the work his foundation, set up in his father’s memory, does in enabling young Nigerian footballers to find their way in the game and how proud he was to be at Prenton Park.
Obidinma also came along for a stadium tour of Prenton Park, where Club Archivist & Ambassador Tony Coombes presented him with a collection of articles and photographs relating to his father's time with the Club in 1960.
This October, we are pleased to confirm that Obidinma is planning his return to Prenton Park for another match in the near future. We look forward to welcoming him again and continuing our partnership with the foundation.
You can watch our interview with Obidinma via our YouTube channel below.