Ex internationals, sports administrators, sports writers and who’s who in the world of round leather game will next month gather in Ibadan to bring back the memories of Nigeria’s legendary goalkeeper, who died ten years ago, Anthony Best Ogedegbe.
The big wigs will be brought together by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Oyo State chapter which is partnering with the family of the late goalkeeper to organize a memorial lecture to mark the tenth anniversary of the demise of the football star.
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 memorial lecture will hold on the sixth of November 2019 at the Seminar Hall of Government College Apata area in Ibadan.
The release disclosed that among the dignitaries expected at the memorial lecture are close friends of the late soccer legend, who played with the departed goalkeeper in the national team and at the IICC Shooting Stars in Ibadan, Chief Segun Odegbami (MON), Dr Felix Owolabi Akinloye, Chief Zion Ogunfehinmi and others.
It added that Chief Segun Odegbami will deliver a lecture titled “Solving the Goalkeeping Problem of the Super Eagles: The Best Option”, while Dr Felix Owolabi Akinloye will speak on the exploits of the late footballer during his life time.
Other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion include the Chairman Surulere Local Government in Lagos State, Honourable Tajudeen Ajide and another ex International Tajudeen Disu.
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 retired Director of the state government owned 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.