The remains of former Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) and Super Eagles defender, Ajibade Babalde, will be committed to mother earth on Friday, January 15, 2021.

The former 3SC of Ibadan rear guard, died on September 4, 2020 following a brief illness.

Late Babalade, who also served as 3SC Team Manager, began his final home journey on Thursday, with a wake keep held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium.

The burial programmes for the late footballer will continue on Friday with a lying in state by 10.am also at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, while burial service will follow, precisely by 12noon at the same venue.

Thereafter, the body of Babalade, fondly called Kunde during his life time, will be interred at his residence, number 67, Aboderin layout, Elewura, off Challenge, Ibadan.

The burial ceremony would be rounded off on Sunday, with a thanksgiving service at the Celestial Church of Christ, City of David Parish, Onireke, Ibadan by 10am.

Babalade, who starred for the Oluyole Warriors during his life time was a member of the squad that played in the final of the African Champions League against Zamalek of Egypt in 1996.

Although 3SC lost the trophy to the Egyptians via penalties after aggregate scores stood at 3-3, he would be remembered for the classical goal he scored during the first leg at the Lekan Salami Stadium.

His goal gave the Ibadan soccer lords a 2-0 lead before the visitors got a late goal to reduce the tally to 2-1.

The same scenario played out in Cairo as Gbenga Okunowo’s late goal ensured the second leg also ended 2-1 but in favour of Zamalek, thus forcing the game into penalties which eventually went the way of the North Africans.

The late soccer star, at the twilight of his career, was also instrumental to the promotion of 3SC back to the elite division when he, alongside the current Team Manager of the club Dimeji Lawal (MON), inspired upcoming players then, to achieve that feat.

He was later appointed the Team Manager of the team on October 17, 2008, a position he held till 2014.

Aside 3SC, Kunde also featured for other notable clubs in Africa and outside the continent.

The roll call includes, Stationery Stores of Lagos, the then Iwuayanwu Nationale of Owerri, Africa Sports of Ivory Coast, Anyang LG Cheetahs, SK Sturm Graz and Mohun Bagan AC.

He was a prominent member of the Super Eagles squad that won bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Senegal in 1992.

Meanwhile, family members, senior colleagues, teammates, friends and associates of the deceased gathered on Thursday at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium for wake keep service, where they all extolled the virtues of the late Super Eagles defender.

Among those who attended the event were former Green Eagles winger, Dr Felix Owolabi (MON), ex Super Eagles Goalkeeper Trainer, Ike Shorunmu as well as his teammate at Stationery Stores Akeem Ogunlade.


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