Players, Coaches Mourn Onibokun


Nigerian players and coaches have continued to react to the death of former tennis legend, Thompson Onibokun, who died on Monday, 27 August in Osogbo, Osun State at the age of 77.

The players and coaches, who spoke with Tennis Special, said although, he died at a ripe age of 77, but he would be missed by the Nigerian tennis family.

“It’s a painful death to me personally because he was like a father to me. He was always after my progress, especially during the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, where he was the chairman of the technical committee of the competition since inception. He was indeed a nice man,” said Nigeria’s number two tennis player, Abdulmumini Babalola.

Destiny Ford Da-Silva hailed the late Onibokun as a great man, whose legacy will continue to speak well of him for a very long time to come.

He said: “The late Pa Onibokun was a great tennis player in his days, always very calm and he had been in the vanguard of seeing better days for Nigerian tennis.

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“Since the inception of the Governor’s Cup, he was a great adviser to the local players, and I believe Onibokun was a tennis administrator this country never had. Nigeria has lost a tennis icon, we’ll miss him dearly.”

Coach of the national wheelchair tennis team, Frank Termena, who is at the ongoing Paralympic Games told Tennis Special in a telephone chat that he was sad hearing the death of the late Onibokun.

“Well, it’s not good to hear that someone, or a close associate is no more, and I did not even know until you told me.

“I think the man was an old man, who lived a fulfilled life. His death is a celebration of life, but we commiserate with his family. May his soul rest in peace,” Termena said.

—Damilare Okunola

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