By Jacob Ajom
It was a constellation of stars of old and the not too distant past at the glamourous Muson Centre, Onikan, venue of the 2010 Chief J K Randle annual Olympic Dinner which held Tuesday, December 7.
The roll call was long. Former footballers of the 1968 Olympic team like Paul Hamilton, Sebastian Brodericks, Peter ‘Babyface’ Aneke, Peter Fregene who could not attend was represented by his wife..
In the same vain, famous Olympians like the President of Nigeria Association of Olympians, Henry Amike, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, Falilat Ogunkoya Osheku, Sunday Bada, Yusuf Ali with numerous others graced the occasion which lived up to its billing.
Dressed in a grey suit, the convener, Bashorun J K Randle was his usual smart self, welcoming guests with an expansive mien that bellied his age.
Guests at the event included members of the diplomatic corps, captains of commerce and industry and top government officials that included the director-general of the national sports commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji. President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee and immediate sports minister, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, former footballers, athletes, administrators and even men of the media were all there to communed with the Randle family for the great event which saw former Nigerian political figures and sportsmen honoured for their contributions to the development of sports in the country.
Prominent among the recipients include The Right Honourable Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (boxing and football), Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Liberty Stadium), Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto(Horse Racing and Eton Fives), Justice Adetokunbo Ademola (Nigeria Olympic Committee), Major General Hassan Katsina (Polo), Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (hockey), Chief M.K.O. Abiola(football), Chief Israel Adebajo (football), A.K. Amu (athletics) Ishola Folorunsho (Sports commentary) and Hogan Kid Bassey(boxing). All the awards were posthumous.
The Olympians at the occasion appreciated the effort by the Randle family. Falilat Ogunkoya who spoke with Sports Vanguard said, “Please, help us thank Bashorun JK Randle for all he has been doing for former athletes. What would we have done without him? He is a great man with a large heart.”