Nigerian former professional footballer who played as forward, Kanu Nwankwo is 46 years old today.
Nwankwo Christian Nwosu Kanu was born on August 1, 1976 in Owerri, Nigeria. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, African brand ambassador for digital TV operator Startimes and the owner of Kanu Sports TV, an Internet sports television company.
He is a native of Abia State, Southeast Nigeria. He is a member of the Aro sub-group of the Igbo ethnic group. His name, Nwankwo means “Child born on Nkwo market day” in the Igbo language.
Kanu was also a member of the Nigeria National Team. He played for Nigerian Team Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Inter Milan of Italy, Dutch side Ajax and English clubs Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.
He won a UEFA Champions League medal, three FA Cup medals, two African Player of the Year Awards and a UEFA Cup medal. He is also one of the few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Olympic Gild Medal, Champions League and UEFA Cup.
He also made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times. He is also regarded as one of the best players in African football history.
Kanu was born with a congenital heart defect that affected his aortic valve from closing properly. It was discovered and operated on in 1996. Although, many thought he would not be able to play anymore, surprisingly, he bounced back to full recovery. In March 2014, he went for a corrective heart surgery in the United State which was again successful and undergoes an annual medical check-up.
His experience with a congenital heart defect motivated him to establish the “Kanu Heart Foundation” in year 2000. The foundation focuses on homelessness with five hospitals built in Africa to treat children with undiagnosed heart disease and provide them surgery.
Kanu Nwankwo got married to Amarachi Kanu in 2004 and their union is blessed with three children.