Former Super Eagles chief coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has extolled the virtues of the late Nigerian football legend, Teslimi ‘Thunder’ Balogun, as his family celebrates his 44th year memorial today in Lagos.
Onigbinde said the late ‘Thunder’ Balogun was a hero whose fascinating exploits motivated a lot a companies in Nigeria to float football clubs, especially in Lagos.
He noted that Balogun’s greatest asset as a footballer was his head which he used in scoring most of the vital goals he scored for both club and country.
“When people talk about Teslimi Balogun they tend to omit the aspect of his level of fitness as a footballer. He was a very fit player who never indulged in drinking nor smoking.”
He added that, Teslim Balogun got his nickname ‘Thunder Bolt’ from the goals he scored at the 1949 Nigeria Challenge Cup final between Nigeria Railways and Marine FC which claimed many lives.
“Marine Fc were leading Railways 3-0 until eighth minutes from full time when Teslimi Balogun scored three goals in seven minutes to level scores for his side. When he scored the first goals, the fans stood on their toes and when he scored the equaliser many of the fans fell off from the spectators stand in wild jubilation and five of them died on the spot.”
The President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, also described the late Teslimi Balogun as a fantastic footballer with bullet shots on both feet.
“He had speed and could dribble. A Ghanaian newspaper in the late 60s once described him as the greatest centre forward Africa ever produced.”