Former Shooting Stars of Ibadan flamboyant goalkeeper, Raymond King is dead. King who also had a distinguished club football career with the defunct Abiola Babes FC of Abeokuta died on New Year’s day aged 52 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Ikeja, Lagos.
Tajudeen Disu, King’s former teammate at Abiola Babes broke the sad news of the passage of the goalkeeper few minutes after he gave up the struggle to survive the stroke he suffered a week ago.
Until King was transferred to LASUTH on New Year’s eve, he was admitted at the Ikorodu General Hospital but had to be moved when his condition deteriorated.
“Raymond King has just passed on at the LASUTH,” began Disu on a sober note.
“He was transferred from the State Hospital, Abeokuta to Ikorodu General Hospital on New Year’s eve when his condition was not improving,” revealed Disu.
THISDAY further learnt that when SOS message was passed to kind hearted individuals to come to the aid of the former Flying Eagles goalkeeper, First Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, DG of Lagos Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh and a host of other sports personalities joined efforts to ensure that King get the best treatment by ensuring that he was transferred to LASUTH.
“When the news got to Lagos State Commissioner for Health Olajide Idris, he directed that he (King) should be taken to LASUTH for better treatment and it was this evening (Monday) he got there and LASUTH told us initially they didn’t have electricity to commence treatment or fuel to run their generator.
“But when they eventually started to set up their equipment to treat him he was already gasping for air and he passed on,” a clearly distraught Disu recalled.
But an independent source at LASUTH revealed that King may have survived if only there was a scanning machine at the Ikorodu General Hospital to know what to treat. All efforts to move him to Clinix in Ilupeju for MRI scan came too late.
“By the time they brought him here (LASUTH) King was already in bad shape. He couldn’t move or recognize anybody again. The stroke had really done him in,” stressed the medical personnel to THISDAY.
The high point of King’s career for 3SC was during the team’s 1984 campaign for the then CAF African Cup of Champions where the team finished as runners-up to Zamalek of Egypt. He also won the 1987 FA Cup title with Abiola Babes
An indigene of Akwa Ibom State, King fell in love with Abeokuta and made the place his second home. He worked with the Ogun State Sports Council and Gateway FC as goalkeeper trainer.