Babatunde Olaniyan, the Chairman of Shooting Starts Sports Club also known as 3SC has advised Nigerians not to wait for footballers to die before they are recognised.
Olaniyan made this disclosure while speaking at a press conference to announce the commencement of awards and recognition of the 1976 and 1977 football legends who played for 3SC and Enugu Rangers respectively.
The former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly while speaking at the media briefing announced that the 3SC, Africa Students Football Union (ASFU), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Oyo State chapter, International Students Football Union and Rangers Football Club have decided to honour the football legends to encourage other upcoming footballers.
He then urged stakeholders not to wait till football legends die before they are recognised.
He added that all efforts should be made to honour football legends when they are alive, to encourage them to do more.
Olaniyan said, “We should not wait till when football legends die before we honour them. I like celebrating people now when they are alive.
“That is why ASFU, ISFU 3SC and SWAN in Oyo State are honouring the class of 1976 of 3SC and class of 1977 Rangers Football Club. It is a day to celebrate and honour football legends.
“I have gone to Welby stadium in London and I knew how they honoured their legends. We don’t have to wait until they are gone. This is a project that concerns all of us.
“Football has a limited time, you will retire either by injury or age”.
ASFU President, Professor Seun Omotayo in his address recalled that the first Nigerian football club to win an African football competition is 3SC.
He added that ASFU, ISFU 3SC and SWAN decided to honour the legends who made Nigeria proud 46 years ago to encourage the incoming legends.
He used the opportunity to announce that football legends like Chief Patrick Olusegun Odegbami, Nathaniel Adewole, Mudashiru Babatunde Lawal, Sam Appaiah, Phillip Boamah, Kunle Awesu, Moses Otolorin, Idowu Otubisin, Zion Ogunfehimi, Best Ogedegbe and Felix Owolabi are due to be recognised.
He said, “It is also interesting to note that the first Nigeria Football Club to win an African Football competition is the IICC Shooting Stars football club. It is that victorious Shooting Stars Players that are being recognized for the superlative performance 46yrs ago.
“I use this opportunity to appreciate all of the IICC Shooting Stars Squad 76 which included prolific scorer Mathematical Chief Patrick Olusegun Odegbami, Midfield maestro Nathaniel Adewole, Nigeria’s first football Ambassador and Midfield commander Mudashiru Babatunde Lawal of blessed memory, Sam Appaiah, Phillip Boamah, Kunle Awesu of blessed memory, long throw master Moses Otolorin, master defender Idowu Otubisin, Goal tenders Zion Ogunfehimi, Best Ogedegbe of blessed memory and in the words of Earnest Okonkwo one Nigeria football commentators the most charismatic of the all Dr Felix Owolabi to mention just a few of the stars”.