Odion Ighalo did not travel home for the burial of his father, Pa Paul Ighalo, which took place on Monday shortly after his death, his brother has revealed.
Paul died in his sleep just hours after the Watford striker had played 90 minutes for the Hornets in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace at Wembley.
The Watford top scorer, who last spoke to his father for the final time on Saturday, confirmed on Monday morning that he would see out the remainder of the Hornets’ Premier League campaign and would return to Nigeria to be with his family, attend a formal wake and burial rites after the season has ended. He was given the option of compassionate leave but opted to stay in Hertfordshire with his wife, Sonia, and young children.
“My father was in his late 90s but was healthy and never complained of being sick,” Odion’s brother, Daniel Ighalo, told Daily Sunsports. “When in the early hours we were told that he had taken ill, a nurse from the Faithland Hospital came around to attend to him before he gave up the ghost. We were all shocked because nothing was wrong with him. By the morning of Monday when people knew he had passed away, our house was a sort of Mecca until his corpse was moved to Edo State. His last request was that he never wanted to be kept in the mortuary but to be buried immediately in his village and that was what we had to do to honour him.”
Quique Sanchez Flores will speak to the media tomorrow and he will no doubt be asked whether Ighalo is in the right frame of mind to face Aston Villa.
*Featured image via Daily Sunsports.