Shooting Stars energetic defender Izu Joseph has been shot dead by soldiers in his hometown Okaki in Rivers State.
The player’s father confirmed the death of the player at the hands of Joint Task Force (JTF), who are locked in a long-drawn face-off with militants in the restive Niger Delta.
The powerful central defender, who was a great man marker and good aerially, joined Shooting Stars three years from Bayelsa United when the Ibadan club were still in the second-tier Nigeria National League (NNL).
He was man of the match at champions Rangers when Shooting Stars drew 1-1.
Initial reports said the player was caught out at a restricted area by soldiers on a raid.
His identity as a footballer was only established after he had been shot.