ODION IGHALO has his beloved sister Mary’s name inscribed on his football boots.
It is also etched into a white T-shirt he will wear under the Manchester United jersey he will proudly don for the first time at Chelsea on Monday.
But United’s new loan signing admits he is struggling to come to terms with her sudden death, breaking down in tears when he is on his own.
Speaking for the first time about the December tragedy, Ighalo revealed: “I feel very emotional because it has not really struck me that my sister is gone forever and I am never going to see her again.
"Sometimes when I am alone and I just remember her, I have one sharp pain in my heart.
Mary was like a mother to all of us. Even when I was young she would look after me.
"My twin sister, Akhere, will call me, crying, saying she misses her and, sometimes when I am alone, I cry too.
"It is a very painful loss but I am trying to be strong as a man."
The Nigerian striker, 30, posted a poignant picture of himself with Mary on Instagram, announcing her shock death, accompanied by the words “RIP sister” together with a broken heart emoji.
Married Mary Atole collapsed at her home in Canada on the morning of December 12, just as she was getting her children ready for school. She was only 43.
Ighalo added: “It was a very painful moment.
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