Stephen Tataw is confirmed dead at the age of 57.
Stephen was best known as a Cameroonian footballer (Tonnerre Yaoundé).
Stephen Tataw
Personal information
Full nameStephen Tataw Eta
Date of birth(1963-03-31)31 March 1963[1]
Place of birthYaoundé, Cameroon[note 1]
Date of death31 July 2020(2020-07-31) (aged 57)
Place of deathYaoundé
Height1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position(s)Right-back
Senior career*
1988–1991Tonnerre Yaounde
1992–1994Olympic Mvolyé
1995–1996Tosu Futures
National team
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Stephen Tataw Eta (31 March 1963 – 31 July 2020) was a Cameroonian football right-back who captained the Cameroon national team at the 1990 and 1994 editions of the FIFA World Cup.
He played with Tonnerre Yaounde from 1988 to 1991, and for Olympic Mvolyé from 1992 to 1994. Although Tonnerre were one of Cameroon's leading clubs, they lacked basic facilities; playing on a baked earth pitch in a stadium with no showers or dressing rooms. In 1991 Tataw was reported to earn £60-per-week, with another £100-per-week from a sinecure with Cameroon Radio Television.
In October 1990, Tataw joined English Football League First Division club Queens Park Rangers on trial. It was reported that he was "bemused" by the experience: "The manager, I forget his name , said I was good – excellent – but he was full up. I was a right-back and he did not need one. Why did he not tell me this before I came? Ask him. I was excellent." The following month he was reported to be on trial with Football League Second Division club Brighton & Hove Albion.
In Simon Kuper's Football Against the Enemy, Tataw is described playing for second tier Olympic Mvolyé. He was dragged from his car and beaten up by four armed men days before the 1992 Cameroonian Cup final against Diamant Yaoundé. He rebounded to captain his club in the match and played well, winning the penalty kick from which teammate Bertin Ebwellé struck the only goal.
In 1995, he joined Tosu Futures of Japan. He became the first African footballer to play for a professional Japanese club. While he was in Japan, he tried to guide his club to the J-League, the top division. But in 1997, Tosu Futures folded due to the withdrawal of its main sponsor. He hoped to play for Sagan Tosu, the new club in the city, but he did not agree terms and retired.
He is probably best remembered as the captain of Cameroon during their historical run at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where the team became the first African nation to reach the quarterfinals.
In April 2018 he was one of 77 applicants for the vacant job of Cameroon national team coach.
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