…fan nominates ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ as clubs theme song

If the fans of Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin would listen to one of their fold who gave his name simply as James, they would adopt the song ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ by Thomas Chisholm, as one of their theme songs going forward.

James was one of the few fans who stayed on to watch the match to its fullness, following a massive walk out of dejected Bendel Insurance supporters after Plateau United equalised mere minutes to full time in the Nigerian Premier Football League game between both sides at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Edo State, on Thursday.

Following Plateau United’s equaliser, the match progressed to extra time and Insurance went on to score the winning goal, defeating Plateau United by two goals to one and bag the full points, just before the final blast of the whistle in the second instance. Insurance now have six points.

Some of the great moments of action during Insurance, Plateau Utd game in Benin. Osas Okoro controls the ball past his opponent

Before then however, a vast majority of Insurances’ fans had lost faith and filed out of the stadium and were well on their way to their homes. These hapless fans did not witness the winning goal.

The game which started at 4pm at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, lived up to its pre-match hype and looked destined to end in a 1-1 stalemate, when the centre referee punished Insurance FC defence strongman Benjamin Tanimu for a hard tackle in the 90th minute and issued a penalty. Plateau United’s Christopher Nwaeze composed himself and converted neatly to cancel Sarki Ismael’s 52nd minute goal for Insurance.

The match then progressed with both sides making spirited forays which were ultimately thwarted. In these displays, Plateau United seemed to enjoy a slight edge now and again.

The Plateau side on and off, got the better of their markers with their scintillating dribbling runs punctuated with sudden surges of speed, halts and feints.

The back line of Insurance however invariably held firm, with the goalkeeper occasionally being called on to douse a fire.

This fruitless ding-dong appeared to discourage Insurance fans, whose songs and chants started to lose gusto, cease and resurge, corresponding with their team’s highs and lows.

Ten minutes to full time, with scores at 1-1 Insurance fans started to file out of the stadium in droves and with sad faces. The dejected looks on their faces as they headed in different directions outside the stadium caused passersby to conclude that the match was over and that Bendel Insurance had lost.

Insurance new signee Vincent Augustus in action against Plateau Utd during NPFL wk2 match

Following an infringement however, Bendel Insurances’ Julius Emiloju, curled a free kick from the left flank which met pacey Imade Osarenkhoe well positioned. Osarenkhoe swiftly rose above Plateau defenders and headed home the winner in the 92nd minute to send the few remaining fans into wild jubilation.

With the drama that surrounded the game and the resilience that spurred Insurance’s win, some of the remaining fans in the stadium rushed to hug one of their fold whose name was given simply as James, our reporter who was in the stadium was told. It was said James had encouraged other fans to be faithful and not lose hope as a goal could still come but was shunned by other heartbroken fans.

Then came the goal and James became a cynosure. In the rush of passion following the attention that he attracted James was said to have reaffirmed that it was indeed God’s faithfulness that made the victory possible for the Insurance.

Coach Monday Odigie,Technical Director of Bendel Insurance FC

He proceeded to sing the popular Christian hymn, ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ while some sang along and others danced and chanted.

James prayed that the Bendel Insurance supporters’ should make the hymn their theme song going forward.

Google search reveals that the song ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ was written by Thomas Chisholm who born in 1866 and died in 1960 while the music was composed by William M Runyan who was born in 1870 and died in 1957 in Baldwin City, Kansas, USA.