Bowdoin alum and Eritrean permanent representative to the United Nations Girma Asmerom Tesfay ’73 passed away in New York on October 5 at age 66, Eritrea’s Ministry of Information confirmed. 

Born in Ethiopia in 1949, Asmerom played for the Ethiopian national soccer team and was a part of the 1968 African Cup before coming to Bowdoin. He played soccer at the College as well, once scoring four goals in a game against Bates in 1971—still the second-highest number of goals in a game ever by a Bowdoin player. Although he only played three seasons, his 32 goals during his time at the College set a record at the time.

“Many times his actions on the field leave the opposition looking awkward and bewildered and the crowd chuckling,” the Orient wrote of Asmerom in 1971. 

Asmerom majored in government at the College before going on to receive his master’s degree in international relations from American University. He returned to Ethiopia, joining the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in 1978 to fight for Eritrean independence from Ethiopia. After Eritrea formally declared itself 1993, he served in several diplomatic positions. He became Eritrean ambassador to the U.N. in 2014. 

His death was met with an outpouring of grief on social media, as well as condolences from ambassadors of several other nations. Remembrances of the ambassador described him as a man dedicated to the people and to the fight for equality.