Kelechi Iheanacho may be flying high in the Premier League these days, but he has now opened up on his biggest personal regret.
The 24-year-old striker has revealed that his No 1 fan, his mother, Mercy, did not live to see him become a star and enjoy the trappings of wealth and fame of her son.
She passed away after illness just before he announced himself to the world at the 2013 U-17 AFCON in Morocco.
“My mom is always beside me, may her soul rest in peace. Whenever I’m playing, or even doing anything, I always imagine her beside me,” he told New Frame.
“I’m getting emotional now because… I wish I had my mom here to celebrate with me because she’s one person in my life that… she always stood by me. It breaks my heart when I remember she is no more and she’s not even enjoying all this.
“Death is unfair. Imagine having the chance to buy her whatever she’d like to have now, take her wherever she’d love to go; yet death took her away. I wish she was here to see what her son has become. Sadly there’s no second chance to live again. But that’s how God wants it and I know she is in a good place.
“She gave me life as a mother and remains the first woman who loved me unconditionally. My mom still holds a special place in my heart and I believe she’s always with me.”
He has continued to honour her with every of his goal celebration.
“It’s a part of my life now,” he said. “Whenever I score, I point to the sky because I know my mother is somewhere there. It’s just something that’s special for me. It is my only way of honouring her. It doesn’t matter if it’s an overhead kick, a spot-kick, a long-range or close-range effort, even a tap-in… it’s all for her.