.Daughter Moyo Pays Tribute To Late Sportscaster And Boxer –
Walter Oyatogun, one of Nigeria’s ace sports broadcasters has passed away after a long battle with illness.
The late Oyatogun who died at the age of 78, suffered stroke a few years back. Reports say he died in the early hours of Friday, 14 February, 2014 in Lagos.
He is survived by many children and grandchildren, among whom are Moyo and Mofe Oyatogun, both presenters at Star 101.5 FM.
Below is a press statement released by Moyo on behalf of the Oyatogun family;
WALTER OYATOGUN, THE GREAT
We would like to announce the death of one of Nigeria’s greatest sports men, administrator, and journalist, Mr. Walter Oyatogun. He passed on at a hospital in Lagos, at 7:30am, on Valentine’s day, the 14 th of February, 2014. Walter who survived a stroke two years ago, fought for his life till the very end. He indeed, exhibited the benefits of a healthy life style and exercise, which he preached and lived for.
Sir Wally as he was popular known, became famous in the ’80s, on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA news. He had a unique sign off of his name, on his reports. His deep and well rounded voice and impeccable enunciation warmed many hearts. He was indeed one of Nigeria’s greatest.
Walter’s contributions to sports in Nigeria, started in 1960, when he became an Amateur boxer. The officer in charge of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Lagos, Mr. Peter Cook, a Briton, encouraged him to take to Boxing, and he made the National Team. He represented Nigeria in the Nigeria/Ghana International Boxing Championship in 1966 in Lagos, where he won a Gold Medal in the Heavyweight Category.
Hogan (King) Bassey was the National Coach during the time. Some of his stable mates were Fatai Ayinla (Light-Heavyweight), Eddie Ndukwu (Featherweight) Davidson Andeh, (Lightweight) and Jerome Awe (Flyweight).
He was employed by the National Sports Council, between 1966-1976 as a Sports Development Officer and seconded to the Lagos Sports Council which had just established a Sports Training Centre then, known as ‘Alakoro Training Centre’ located at 106, Alakoro Street, Elegbata.
There were Nine Sports Associations on ground then: Football, Athletics (Track & Field) Boxing, Tennis, Table Tennis, Cricket, Swimming, Hockey and Netball. But With a staff strength of six Physical Education Instructors and Six Assistant Instructors, he developed five additional sports between 1966 and 1976.
With the assistance of sports enthusiasts like Oba DapoTejuoso, Mr Walid Zabadne and a host of others, Walter was able to introduce volleyball, badminton, squash, basketball and weightlifting to the centre. He continued this illustrious service to the nation.
Apart from his service in broadcasting and sports development, it was his dream to see the National Stadium in Surulere, busy with sporting activities and development.
He got keep fit enthusiasts to make use of the National Stadium open spaces for jogging. In 1984, he sought the support of the Chairman, National Sports Commission, Late Maj-Gen, Damian Sho-Silva to throw open the gates of the National Stadium to all and sundry that wants to keep fit. The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Alhaji Raheem A. Adejumo adopted the keep fit programme as Sport for All-Nigeria in 1991. Chief Shola Rhodes (SAN) laboured to spread the benefit of keep-fit all over the country. That little seed sown in 1984 has become a way of life for many Nigerians as can be seen at the National Stadium on weekends.
He was an Alumni of the Man O’ War School, Apapa. At the inception of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme he served as an Instructor on Leadership to the Orientation Course of Lagos State, under Mrs. Gbadamosi the Orientation Director. He had a pet name with Corp members, known as Waky-Waky, because he used to wake them up at 5.30a.m to get ready for the days activities.
Walter once wrote: “This is my track record of forty-three years in service to Sports and sports leadership. Can anyone tell me why I have been put in limbo in the matters of Sports in the country?
It is my hope that the Committee on National Awards will take note of my service and contributions to Sports Development in the Country, maybe it will meet their parameters for a National Award”.
Well, that never happened, till he died. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Burial arrangements will soon be announced by the family.
-MOYO OYATOGUN on behalf of the family.