FORMER Green Eagles (now Super Eagles) player Segun Adeleke is dead. He died from cancer in Alabama, Florida, United States on Thursday, 5 August,2021.
Although not as popular as his namesake, Segun Odegbami, Adeleke was for a brief period Odegbami’s contemporary in the Green Eagles of the mid-70s. While Odegbami came from Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan, Adeleke is touted to have featured for their city rivals, Water Corporation Football Club, before heading to the United States in the early ‘80s for academic studies. Thereafter, he settled down to live in that country.
One of his closest friends in the Green Eagles was Godwin Iwelumo with whom he attended the famous Gaskiya College in Lagos.
In a tribute that he wrote in his popular sports column, “The Mathematical,” Odegbami described Adeleke as “a folk hero in the Lagos and Western Nigerian football axis” during the late ‘70s.
Segun Adeleke in handshake with Governor of then Western State, David Medayese Jemibewon, as IICC captain Samuel Ojebode makes the introduction before a match. Phillip Boama is standing next to Adeleke.
When asked about Segun Adeleke, the chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen provided the following insight:
“The Segun Adeleke l know was a player and captain of Water Corporation FC, lbadan. Then, he went with his teammates Benjamin Popoola, Muyiwa Sanya and Keeper Olumeko to Bendel Insurance FC before they all went to universities in the USA. I do know that Segun came back from the USA sometime, but he later returned there.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Centerspread, a leading marketing communications agency in Nigeria, Mr. Kola Ayanwale, has described Adeleke’s death as an event which should not go unnoticed.
“Segun Adeleke was a Nigerian sports hero. He was a year my junior at Gaskiya College and he was very talented. It is unfortunate that he lost his battle with cancer. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.
“He being a former international who featured for the national team, I think that the Nigeria Football Federation should also reach out to his family if only to convey their condolences,” Ayanwale said.