The pacesetter city of Ibadan will tomorrow (Wednesday) play host to an array of ex soccer stars, football administrators, sports journalists and dignitaries from all walks of life, converging to remember Nigeria’s legendary goalkeeper Best Ogedegbe.
In the city of ancient warlords which is also the base of one of Nigeria’s most successful football clubs, Shooting Stars Sports Club, a memorial lecture will hold on Wednesday 6th of November 2019 to mark the tenth anniversary of the passing onto glory of a former goalkeeper of 3SC and the national team, Late Best Ogedegbe.
The memorial lecture organised by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter in collaboration with the family of the late footballer will take place at the Seminar Hall of Government College Apata, Ibadan.
According to a press release signed by the Secretary of the Organising Committee of the Memorial Lecture, who is also the Secretary of SWAN in Oyo state, Mr Adewale Tijani, the dignitaries expected to grace the occasion include a former federal lawmaker from Kaduna state, Senator Shehu Sani, the Chairman Surulere Local Government in Lagos State, Honourable Tajudeen Ajide, an ex International Tajudeen Disu as well as a veteran sports journalist, Mr Kayode Tijani.
Other roll call of dignitaries invited to the Memorial Lecture are the Chairman Oyo Football Association Oba James Odeniran, a former FIFA and CAF Technical Instructor Chief Adegboye Onigbinde and a former Deputy Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Tunde Olaniyan.
The release also disclosed that a close friend of the late footballer who played with him in Shooting Stars and Green Eagles, Chief Segun Odegbami will deliver a lecture titled ‘Solving the Goalkeeping Problem of Super Eagles: The Best Option.’
It added that other dignitaries expected at the memorial lecture will include other team mates of the departed goalkeeper, among whom are Dr Felix Owolabi Akinloye and Chief Zion Ogunfehinmi.
The Chairman of the Best Ogedegbe Memorial Lecture Organizing Committee, Mr Femi Okenla said the programme will reminisce the life and times of Late Ogedegbe and also afford young football fans the opportunity to know about the legendary goalkeeper.
“We are putting this memorial lecture together to honour one of Nigeria’s heroes, Late Best Ogedegbe. Best gave his all for Nigeria. He lived for Nigeria. He used his talent for the glory of this country. He made millions of Nigerians happy during his life time. Such outstanding personality should never be forgotten. This is why we are partnering with his family to honour this great Nigerian”, Okenla said.
The Chairman of SWAN in Oyo state Mr Niyi Alebiosu explained why his Association is involved in the memorial programme for the late soccer legend:
“We see it as our duty to honour this illustrious citizen of Nigeria who was one of our exemplary sportsmen that made our country a power house in African football.
Having this memorial lecture is our own way of ensuring that the exploits of this patriotic and extremely gifted Nigerian who used his talent to promote Nigerian sports is not forgotten”, the Oyo SWAN Chairman said.
The widow of the late soccer legend, who is a former Head of Presentation Unit of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Mrs Folasade Ogedegbe applauded the honour being accorded her late husband.
She pledged to give her support to the programme and ensure that it is successful.
Late Best Ogedegbe was in goal for the IICC Shooting Stars in 1976 when they made history as the first Nigerian clubside to win a Continental trophy by beating Tonnere Kalala of Cameroon at the final of the African Winners Cup. Late Ogedegbe also manned the goal post for Nigeria’s senior national soccer team, then known as the Green Eagles, when they won the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 1980.
The legendary goalkeeper died on the 28th of September 2009 at the age of 55, following an eye surgery which made him fell into coma.
This year’s memorial lecture will be held on the sixth of November, the day the legendary goalkeeper was buried.