The President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, took time off his busy schedule to praise the late wife of Nigeria’s best soccer player ever, Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun, Alhaja Mulikat Balogun, as the family marks her 23rd year anniversary today May 25th, 2021.
Ladipo said in Lagos that, it was the late Alhaja Mulikat that gave her husband all the encouragements that turned him into Nigeria’s greatest soccer player and indeed a hero of the country’s football.
He noted that in some of the matches he watched ‘Thunder’ Balogun played in his active career, his wife Mulikat, took it as some kind of ritual to encourage her husband to score winning goals which she assured would come from his boots. This enabled the football hero to put up fantastic performances in all the games he played until his retirement.
Ladipo added it is on record that, when ‘Thunder’ Balogun was adamant in returning to Nigeria midway into his career in the English Soccer League, in 1958, it was Alhaja Mulikat that persuaded him to return to Nigeria to continue his soccer career. Thunder had to dump his progressive career in England with Queens Park Rangers in 1958.
With his return, ‘Thunder’ granted the request of the Premier of Western Nigeria, Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who wanted the legendary player to feature for West Rovers Football club in that year’s Nigeria Challenge Cup competition, the country’s biggest soccer event at the time. West Rovers won the title in 1958 for the first time in history because of the excellent contributions of Teslim “Thunder” Balogun.
Dr. Rafiu Ladipo also noted that Alhaja Mulikat spurred her husband on to form several youth clubs in Lagos for the development of the game of football in Nigeria.