Hibs’ Lewis Stevenson recalls good times with Junior Agogo - ‘he parked his Maserati next to my Honda Civic’
The Ghana internationalist spent four months at Easter Road after being signed by Colin Calderwood on a year long contract in the summer of 2011.
But he played only 14 games for the team, scoring one goal against Dundee United, his final apperance being a 3-1 defeat by tomorrow’s opponents St Johnstone before leaving the following January after Pat Fenlon had taken over as manager, and announcing his retiral from football.
A much-travelled player, Agogo suffered a stroke in 2014 at the age of 35 and the news of his death yesterday was, admitted Stevenson, a shock.
Stevenson said: “I have him on Instagram and he seemed to be living a healthy life. I knew he was into running recently, so he must have been trying to get back to fitness.
“He is not someone I properly kept in touch with, but this isn’t something you want to hear about, especially about a former team-mate.”
Agogo began his career with Sheffield Wednesday and also had spells in the United States, Egypt and Cyprus. He scored 12 times for Ghana in 27 matches, catching the eye in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in which the Black Stars finished third on home turf.
Although he only spent a brief spell in Edinburgh, Stevenson vividly recalled Agogo’s arrival, Calderwood having earlier signed him from Nottingham Forest.
“He was a big figure and he came here with a massive reputation,” said Stevenson. “He was larger than life and a real character. Quite rightly, he came with a big reputation because he had done a lot in his career and scored some goals at the African nations, which he used to always talk about.
“There was no denying that he had made a bit of money in his career, but he was really down to earth and was a lovely guy with everyone.”
Stevenson laughed as he remembered the outward sign of Agogo’s wealth, his Maserati parked alongside the left-back’s own Honda Civic in the East Mains car park.
The 31-year-old said: “Maybe in a joking sense he would wind you up about things like that. But you could take it because he was joking and he worked hard for the team and wanted the best for everybody.”
Having said that, Stevenson revealed Agogo wasn’t too enamoured with the Scottish game, saying: “He used to moan about the direct football.
“He always wanted the ball to his feet and he wasn’t happy with the Scottish long ball tactics. But off the pitch he was brilliant.”
Hibs goalkeeper of the time, Graham Stack, added: “Devastated at hearing the news of the passing of a friend, an ex-Hibs team-mate Junior Agogo. Struggled with his health in recent years but doesn’t make it any easier.
“We shared some great memories on the pitch and even more of them off it.”
And former international team-mate and ex-Hibs defender Francis Dickoh wrote: “Absolutely heartbreaking news, Junior Agogo has passed. Way too early.”
And while current Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom admitted he didn’t know Agogo personally, it was, nevertheless sad news. He said: “I know who he is and your paths cross, but I didn’t know him personally. It’s really sad news and on behalf of the club and all our staff, I send my best wishes to his family.
“It’s sad, 40 years old is nothing.
“It doesn’t matter whatever age someone is, it’s always sad. It tends to be more dramatic when it is someone young and someone who is perceived to be fit.
“It’s the last thing you expect.”