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At 50th anniversary of Thunder Balogun’s exit, a book and foundation to be launched on Tuesday



Tesilimi ‘Thunder’ Balogun

How time flies! It will be 50 years on Saturday since Nigeria’s iconic footballer and coach, Tesilimi Balogun passed on into eternity.

The enduring legacy to this legend is the imposing Teslim Balogun Stadium that the Lagos State Government named after him.

But owing to passage of time, most current football followers may not have known the impact that the pioneer member of the Nigerian national team 73 years ago may have had on Nigerian and international football.

Not many may know how the legend looked like. But all these posers would be answered on Tuesday at the relaunch of a foundation on him and a also a book, the first of its type on a pioneer member of the Nigerian national team.

According to a media release by Comrade Lanre Arogundade, the chairman of the International Press Centre and chairman of the technical committee on the golden jubilee anniversary of the legend, “the launch of a book on the late soccer icon and the re-launch of the Teslim Thunder Balogun Foundation, are among the highlights of the 50th anniversary taking place at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Lagos on Tuesday July 26, 2022. “

Furthermore, in a statement by the Organising and Technical Committee led by Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, is the Chief Host and Special Guest of Honour while the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare will declare open the event to be chaired by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Lekan Adegbite.


The statement said there would be a lecture by Chief Adegboye Onigbinde and remarks by the President of NFF, Mr. Amaju Pinnick and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, a renowned promoter of football and president of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control.

Mr.. Kunle Soname, the CEO of Bet9ija is expected to be the Chief launcher of the book written Kunle Solaja.

Part of the programme would also be dedicated to the memory of Mr.Tunde Tajudeen Balogun, first son of the soccer legend who died at the peak of preparations for the 50th anniversary. A Foundation will equally be launched in his honour.

Renowned for his skills and goals, Thunder Balogun, was the first Nigerian to play professional football in thr United Kingdom.  He died in July 1972 at the age of 42.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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