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Table Tennis: Bankole’s family cries out for help

The family of late star table tennis player, Yomi Bankole, has cried to the public for support to enable them to give him a befitting burial.

Bankole, widely known as the “Hawk” during his playing days, died on Jan. 29, aged 52, at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.

His son, Lekan, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that since his father died, things had not been easy for the family.

He was grateful to the Lagos State Commissioner for Sports, Wale Enitan-Oshodi, who assisted in taking his father to the hospital for treatment before his death. “I have been unable to pay for embalment; the mortuary attendants have advised that I try to bury him in good time to avoid letting the body go bad. “l will need to bury him as soon as possible to avoid incurring extra bills at the mortuary,”  Lekan said.

He said that he was at the office of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) to formally notify the federation of his father’s death and see what help he could get from them.

However, the Secretary of the NTTF, Segun Oguntade, pledged that the federation would pay for the embalmment and provide a casket.

Oguntade told NAN on Saturday that the federation would see what other help it could render to bring Bankole’s corpse to the National Stadium before the burial of his remains.

“This is the least the federation can do to ensure a decent burial for the late star, who thrilled fans, particularly in the rivalry he had in his active years with Atanda Musa,” Oguntade said.

He urged Nigerians who admired Bankole to assist the family.

Bankole played for Lagos State and was in the Nigerian contingent to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games in South Korea.



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