The former Nigeria international left indelible marks on the mind of many he came across during an eventful career, sometimes for his craziness and other times for his large heart.
Taribo West is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished defenders in modern times with the ex-Sharks FC man winning laurels in France with Auxerre and in Europe with Inter Milan.
He was the pillar of the defence for the Dream Team as they navigated their way to the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
West also played crucial roles as the Super Eagles impressed at the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as the Ghana-Nigeria 2000, where the Jo Bonfere-led side picked up a silver medal.
But just as renowned as West’s no-nonsense, tough-tackling attributes were his colourful hairstyles and ‘crazy’ disposition.
Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti recently pointed out that the Nigerian defender was as crazy as he was large-hearted.
There have also been similar accounts from former Inter teammates of West doing the unexpected at odd times.
West’s weird actions didn’t end in Italy as the defender took some to England when he spent nine months on loan at Derby from AC Milan.
He may have made only 18 appearances before leaving, but he left his mark forever on Rams teammate Chris Riggott courtesy of a half time incident during a Premiership match.
“We were playing at Pride Park, I cannot remember who it was against, and Taribo shouted something at me,” Riggott recalls as per DerbyTelegraph.
“I said something back and just thought that was the end of it, but he practically pinned me up against the wall when he came into the dressing room at half time and said, ‘you are not welcome in my church.’
“It was a bit of an odd one, but in Taribo’s world, that was the biggest thing he could say against me.
“But I learned a lot from him. He was a very nice fella, and it was brilliant playing alongside him.”