Ishola Folorunsho had been NBC's main football commentator since 1954, when Nigerian commentators like Dehinde George, Sunday Young-Harry, Emmanuel Omatsola, and Ishola Folorunsho were allowed to commentate on football games played in Nigerian stadiums, particularly at King George V Stadium in Onikan.
During the height of his powers, Folorunsho's voice was one of the most recognizable in the sport of football in Nigeria, having broadcast countless national team games and Challenge Cup finals. When radios became more ubiquitous in Nigerian homes in the 1960s, Folorunsho's popularity grew.
Radio changed the way Nigerians watched football. The introduction of radio play-by-play explanations of sporting events allowed millions of people to watch football in their homes.
The radio's power allowed action from stadium matches to be broadcast into the living rooms of Nigerian fans who couldn't or didn't want to travel to the game.
Radio helped to popularize football players and their achievements. The lack of access to information no longer divided small sections of the country. Nigerians could listen to the same programming over the radio from Maiduguri to Lagos.
People who are older may recall his famous cry of "It's a goal...no, Adisa has it already. Incredible! Impossible! Adisa comes to the rescue! A-D-I-S-A—-Adisa comes to the rescue!"
In the 1971 Challenge Cup final, WNDC Ibadan's Amusa Adisa saved Godwin Achebe's penalty for the Rangers of Enugu. Some, on the other side, believed Folorunsho was biased against certain teams due to his lack of enthusiasm while commentating matches, followed by his enthusiasm while selecting others.
The era's greatest pundits' vocalized passion was, in my opinion, a reflection of the circumstances they lived in.
After Ishola Folorunsho, who garnered legions of admirers with his original and unique method of delivery, Ernest Okonkwo, the lodestar radio football commentator after Ishola Folorunsho, would shift the excitement in his tone of voice when Rangers scored. For example, after Rangers International's 0-3 Challenge Cup final loss to Bendel Insurance in 1978, Ernest Okonkwo said that the Africa Cup of Champions match that Rangers had played in Kampala the day before had fatigued the players.
Ishola Folorunsho opened the path for football pundits such as Bisi Lawrence, Ernest Okonkwo, Dele Adetiba, Yemi Fadipe, Sebastine Ofurum, Joe Lartey, Kevin Ejiofor, Funsho Adeolu, Tolu Fatoyinbo, Walter Batowei, Yinka Craig, Walter Oyatogun, Akinloye Oyebam The legacy of Ishola Folorunsho will live on.
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