Saturday, September 5, 2020

AFCON ’92 Eagles star Babalade dies at 48


Former Super Eagles defender Ajibade Babalade died today in Ibadan , the Oyo State capital, after suffering cardiac arrest.

Babalade, 48, it was learnt , died while being rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, our correspondent learnt.

He is survived by a wife and three kids , who are all based in the US.

The hard-as -nails retired defender was a squad member of the Eagles that won bronze at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal .

Ex- Eagles goalkeeper and Babalade ’ s Senegal ’ 92 teammate Ike Shorunmu confirmed the death of the Lagos - born ex -footballer.

Shorunmu told The PUNCH he was informed of his friend ’ s death in the afternoon, after attending Jumat service .

“ I went to the mosque for Jumat service this afternoon ( Friday) , so I switched off my phone . Immediately I put it back on , I got a message from Ajibade ’ s in- law that I needed to be at his place . So , I went with my wife , but on our arrival , the ( Babalade ’ s ) family broke the news to me , ” Shorumnu told The PUNCH exclusively.

“ I ’ m very sad as we speak now . This is someone whom I spoke with two days ago ( on Wednesday ) , when he celebrated his son ’ s birthday .

“ I was told he had cardiac arrest in the ( Friday) morning . I had to console his wife and kids , who are based in America, over the demise of their father . He died at the UCH gate. ”

Babalade began his professional club career at Stationery Stores of Lagos in 1990, before several stints at 3SC, helping the Oluyole Warriors reach the final of the CAF Champions League in 1996.

He played professionally abroad at Ivoirian side, African Sports , Anyang LG Cheetahs ( Korea) , SK Sturm Graz ( Austria) and Indian club Mohun Bagan AC .

On October 17, 2008 Babalade was named manager of 3SC.

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