Manchester United loanee Odion Ighalo has opened up to the Sun on the tragic loss of his older sister Mary Atole, who passed away at just 43 years old in December.
The 30-year-old, who joined the Manchester outfit on deadline day of the January transfer window, opened up on the struggles of coming to terms with his sister’s sudden death in a heartwarming interview.
Mary suddenly collapsed and passed away at her home in Canada on December 12. The tragedy occurred just as Mary was getting her children ready for school.
The Sun also add that Mary was a dedicated United supporter, with a framed picture of herself in a Red Devils shirt hanging proudly in her home.
Here’s what Ighalo had to say on Mary’s support of United:
“My sister was a strong United fan. All of us grew up watching Manchester United, we all supported them.”
“Mary’s husband followed Chelsea, while their children were Manchester City and Liverpool fans, but she stayed loyal to United.”
“She always prayed I would sign for United. Even when she came to watch me in the Premier League playing for Watford she hoped I would join United.”
“The painful part for me is that I now have signed for United, but she is not here to see it.”
“However, I know she is up there watching me.”
The Nigerian striker also revealed how he’s set to honour his sister’s memory with United:
“That is why I am going to play with her name on my boots, so she is always with me at Old Trafford or in any game for Manchester United.”
“Every goal I score from now until I finish my career will be dedicated to God and to her.”
“I have written her name on my special white T-shirt and put her name on my boots. I want to show the world she is always with me.”
“It means she can feel me playing at Old Trafford, feel that dream we all prayed for, even though she is not here to see it.”
“But she will be on my feet, assisting me on the pitch.”
We’re rooting for Ighalo to be successful for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, the Nigerian’s move to Old Trafford is proof that someone’s dreams can come to fruition at any time.
Who would’ve thought that the ace would have the chance to play for his boyhood club at the age of 30.
With Ighalo opening up on his late sister’s love for the Red Devils, we can only now sense just how much this opportunity means to the striker.