Deacon Ayo Ositelu, a renowned Nigerian sports journalist, popularly addressed as ‘Arena’ amongst his peers, is dead. He died last night while watching television.
Other sources say it was shortly after the Super Eagles friendly against Cape Verde.
It can be recalled that Arena served as compered in the tennis exhibition match between the Williams sisters last November.
“Deacon is arguably one of the most recognizable sports personalities in Nigeria, in numerous capacities – Sports journalism as former Group Sports Editor of The Punch (1982-1984) and later Editor Sunday Punch (1984-87); Chairman of Lagos State Lawn Tennis Association (1992-1999); member, Nigeria Lawn Tennis Association (1984-89); founding consultant (Publicity) sub-committee of LSSEF with Mr. Bode Emmanuel as Main LSSEF FUND Chairman; National Sports Merit Award recipient in 2003 for Outstanding Sports Journalism (Print Media); Executive Chairman, Ejigbo (LCDA (2003-2008); Author of the evergreen Sports Column titled ‘THE ARENA’ in the Punch, National Concord, The Guardian (1981 till date); member, Federal Government Delegation to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games; International Sports Broadcaster, Analyst – Newspaper, TV & Radio (1980 till date); Consultant of the Editorial Board of The Guardian Newspaper – 2001 till date.”