Sierra Leone Football Great Lamin Bangura Dies in Accident at 59

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Sierra Leonean football great Lamin Bangura has passed away at the age of 59.

Lamin Bangura, a former football star from Sierra Leone, passed away at 59, as announced by the Sierra Leone Football Association on Wednesday. The tragic incident occurred when the bus he was traveling in collided with a stationary vehicle in Konta Line, Northern Province, on Tuesday.

At the time of his passing, Bangura served as the head coach of Ports Authority FC. He and his team were en route from Freetown to Kenema in the Eastern Province for a match against Kahunla Rangers FC when the accident took place.

The fixture scheduled for Wednesday was indefinitely postponed following the crash. Bangura succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday at a hospital in Freetown.

Six players of Ports Authority FC sustained varying degrees of injuries in the accident and were taken to a hospital in Freetown for treatment.

During his active years as a player, Bangura, who was a centre-back, helped Sierra Leone qualify for the 1994 and 1996 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Amidu Karim, the current Sierra Leonean national team head coach, has eulogized Bangura as a "legend, brother, friend, and mentor."

Thomas Daddy Brima, the president of the Sierra Leone Football Association, said Bangura "gave his all for Sierra Leone; both as a player and coach."

Mohamed Lamin Kamara, the secretary-general of the Sierra Leone Football Coaches Association, said Bangura was "a very accommodating and respected man that you would not like to meet once in your lifetime."

"The association is in great turmoil for the loss of such an irreplaceable soul," Kamara said in a statement.

Bangura worked as a member of the Sierra Leonean national team's technical staff at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. Sierra Leone exited the tournament in the group stage.

Bangura's club, Ports Authority FC, is currently 11th in the 18-team Sierra Leone Premier League, with 22 points after 18 matches.