Ranti Lajide, Secretary, Nigeria Table Tennis Umpires Association (NTTRA), on Tuesday said that he received the news of the death of Demola Alli, a former sports administrator with shock.
Lajide in Lagos said that the deceased was his mentor.
Alli, a former Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria table Tennis Federation (NTTF) was popularly known in table tennis circle as “Fireman” because of his exploits in the sport.
He died on March 9 in Lagos, aged 83.
“Alli was always there to motivate players and many sought his advice before getting to the table to play.
“The NTTRA and the entire table tennis family will really miss him. We will also remember him for his unique strokes in his playing days,” he said.
The secretary said Alli headed the Media Committee of the annual Asoju-Oba Table Tennis Championships for 45 years and ensured that the championships got the needed publicity.
NTTF’s Technical Director, Anderson Bankole, told NAN that Alli’s death was a great loss to the table tennis family, adding that he loved the sport.
Bankole said he was a national champion who also represented the country at international championships.
Alli was a former chairman, Lagos State Table Tennis Association, he said.
“Baba died when we needed him most, particularly at this period that we are trying to revive table tennis. It is a painful loss,” he said.
The deceased served in the NTTF board from 1994 to 1998.
The late former player cum administrator also served as Public Relation Officer of the Nigeria Olympic Committee under the presidency of Raheem Adejuwon from 1988 to 1997