Breaking! Tesilimi ‘Thunder’ Balogun’s first son, Tunde dies

Breaking! Tesilimi ‘Thunder’ Balogun’s first son, Tunde dies
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Tunde Balogun (left) with his mother during the burial of Thunder Balogun 50 years ago

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

As the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of football legend, Tesilimi ‘Thunder’ Balogun gathers momentum, his first son, Tunde Balogun has died. He was the eldest of the eight children  – seven male and a female – of the late legend.

According to Kayode Balogun, the third child of the late legend, Tunde, aged 67 died in Surulere, Lagos.

Born on 16 February 1955, he was 17 years old when Thunder Balogun died in 1972. Having the same height of 6ft 2in like his father, he was anticipated to be the one to step into the father’s lager-than-life shoes.

 Tunde Balogun was called up into the Nigeria Academicals’ team that played Ghana in 1972 in what used to be an annual contest for the Nigerpool Cup.

He was also a star of the intermediate team of the then Western State during the 1973 National Sports Festival in Lagos. The team got to the semi-finals before a late goal by Thompson Usiyan of the Midwest State edged Western State out from getting to the final.

That was a year after the passing on of Tesilimi Balogun.  Tunde Balogun was anticipated to star for Nigeria as had done his father as he was just a split image of the legend and had the same height. He made waves in school football and eventually earned scholarship to study Geology at the prestigious Howard University in the US.

On his return, he played for Water Corporation FC, Ibadan, a club that his father assisted in forming in 1967.

Noted  for a unique body swerving skills, characteristics of his father, Thunder, he often left defenders stranded.

A typical example was a National League match involving Water Corporation and Enugu Rangers at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, he was a terror in the Rangers defence, but for the extra agility of goalkeeeper Emmanuel Okala.

Rangers eventually won the match, 1-0, courtesy of a late strike by Ernest Ufele.

Tunde Balogun, before travelling to the US, had  his secondary school education at Olivet  Baptist High School, Oyo and finished in 1972, the year his father passed away.

For his Advance Level certificate. He started at Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro but finished at Government College, Ibadan in 1974.

 Apart from soccer he was a great long distance racer, particularly in 400 metres where he also excelled

He thereafter travelled to the United States for his tertiary studies, to improve his academic qualification  in 1974.

 Tunde Teslim-Balogun was well known to be a personality of impeccable character with high sense of humility and generosity.

Tunde Teslim-Balogun was born in Ibadan but hailed from Lagos Island in Lagos on the 16th of February, 1955.

 He was born at the time his father- Teslim Thunder- Balogun was a soccer star reigning across Nigeria , West Africa and internationally.

He was nicknamed ‘Ara’, meaning ‘thunder’ to describe his thunderous kicks at goal like his father, in that school.

 His presence as a  student in Olivet Heights in Oyo boosted the school’s performance in the Principals’ Cup Football Competition among secondary schools in Western State then.

His soccer wizardry was overwhelming across the whole state then, just like his father. It was a plus to Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro in Egbado area of Western State then, when he gained admission there for his HSC studies in 1972.

The climax at that prestigious school  Soccer days was his superlative performance that propelled Government College Ibadan  to the final of the Western State Principals’ Cup Football Competition played at Liberty Stadium in Ibadan in 1973.

 He left behind  soccer talented brothers and sister; namely Tokunbo, Kayode, Olamide, Ajibola, Iyabode, Bioye, and Wole.

According to family sources, the 40 day Fidau will hold just days before the celebration of the 50th anniversary of passing on of Tesilimi Balogun, after whom the Teslim Balogun Stadium is named.

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