The Strong Tower play ground in Ikorodu, Lagos, will be the place today as all is set for the final match of the Teslim “Thunder” Balogun U-17 football competition featuring Ayinde FC and Teslim Balogun Academy.
Organised by the Ikorodu Community Youth Sports Organis-ation with sponsorship of the Teslim Balogun family and in partnership with Lagos sports writers, the event is billed to attract top notch sports supporters, enthusiasts and community leaders.
These include FIFA/CAF Instructor, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, President General of the supporters club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, member, House of Represen-tatives, Deputy President of the Nigerian Referees Association and member of the Lagos FA, Tade Azeez, Prince Toyin Gafar-Bolowotan and a host of ex-international players, coaches, sports managers and thousands of fans.
The competition is the first edition in what both the organisers and sponsors have described as a well programmed youth sports development initiative in contribution to the progress of Nigerian football.
For the sponsors , the event provides them an opportunity to also honour the late Alhaja Mulikat Teslim Balogun, wife of the soccer legend who insisted on the return of “Thunder “ Balogun from UK club, Queens Park Rangers, back to Nigeria to support the campaign of the Western Rovers football team in the finals of the 1958 Challenge Cup.
According to Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, “Teslim Balogun’s return at that point gave great impetus to the development of football, especially in the west, as “Thunder” thereafter began to go round various towns and villages to set up clubs and train coaches and players.”