CORK soccer player Chiedozie Ogbene revisited his alma mater on Tuesday as the Republic of Ireland senior international striker visited Bunscoil Chríost Rí in Turner’s Cross.
The talented soccer player who recently helped Rotherham United achieve promotion to the Championship received a huge welcome on his return to his former primary school.
School principal Eoin Fitzpatrick said the visit of the soccer player who was popularly known as Edozie in school, went "great".
“Edozie attended Scoil Chríost Rí as it was at the time from 2005-2011. He spoke fondly of his time in school and his enjoyment of all sports in school.
Mr Fitzpatrick said the school had arranged the visit of the former Cork City FC player in recent weeks.
“We had an Active School Week recently and he did a skills challenge for the students, and they loved it. We arranged it with him. As a past pupil, we had a connection to him. He was outstanding.
"He went around to every single class. He signed autographs and stood for every photo. He was in the school for a few hours. He is a very genuine and impressive person.
“He spoke to all the pupils. He said he was very appreciative of all his time in the school. He spoke about the benefits of education. He is currently pursuing a course in Physiotherapy.
“He is a fantastic ambassador for the school,” said Mr Fitzpatrick about the 25-year-old Cork soccer star who met up with former teachers and imparted advice to the awestruck students.
“He is a fantastic athlete. He took part in a Sciath na Scol final when he was in sixth class. He gave an outstanding performance on the day, but they unfortunately lost. He spoke to our current Sciath na Scol team as they have a hurling final on June 9. He mentioned that he still remembered the pain of losing that day and how it stood to him,” he said.
The Ireland soccer international also called into the primary school staff room where he renewed acquaintances with teachers who taught him said Mr Fitzpatrick.
“Edozie remembers his time in school well. He called into the staffroom and met all the staff members, including some of his former teachers Leonard McCarthy and Catrina Horgan.
The former Cork City FC striker has enjoyed a memorable few months for both club and country. He has lit up the international stage for the Republic of Ireland senior team since he made his debut last year. He has scored three goals in seven international appearances to date.
He also scored a goal for Rotherham in their EFL Trophy final victory at Wembley. The future appears bright for a player who has never forgotten his Cork roots.