Organisers of the nation’s first pre-season tournament for domestic clubs, Ogunjobi Gold Cup has empathized with the family of late Shooting Stars General Manager, Rasheed Balogun.
The news of the passing of Balogun, 62, was announced by his family on Thursday evening and it immediately sent shivers to the spine of staff of Oyo State Sports Ministry, Oyo Sports Council, players, coaches and staff of Shooting Stars, top brasses of Nigerian football family and numerous admirers of the football administrator.
Gold Cup Coordinator, Tunde Shamsudeen whose relationship with late Balogun, traverses 15 years, was reduced to tears and left speechless on hearing the news of the GM’s sudden death.
“A Father, A Mentor, A Benefactor is gone 😭😭😭 he posted on his Facebook and Twitter account with a crying emoji and hashtag #RipEkulekule.
Shamsudeen, who later got hold of himself to speak with Ogunjobi Gold Cup Media said: “The news of Balogun’s death on Thursday came to me as a rude shock as the Shooting Stars General Manager was full of life despite his health challenge.
“He was part of the success stories of the Ogunjobi Gold Cup and the league teams he had worked with.
“After Shooting Stars gained promotion to the Nigerian Professional Football League(NPFL) late Ekulekule informed me in Enugu, venue of the NNL playoff, that is team would take part in the 9th edition of our pre-season tournament.
“Our domestic league have lost a real gem, whose wealth of football administration experience can not be matched, him having worked with Julius Berger, Sunshine Stars, Dolphins (now Rivers United) and 3SC.
“I don’t want to mourn him, rather celebrate him as he has left lasting legacies in our domestic football.
“I pray God to forgive him of his shortcomings, grant him Aljanah Fridaos and give his family the strength to bear the loss.”