Sonny Badru Thompson
Intl. since:
Country: Nigeria

Fondly called "Sunny Badru", Shakibudeen Thompson Badru was born on 10th July, 1928 to Abdul Yekini Ajadi and Falilatu Abegbe Badru at the Olowogbowo Area of Lagos Island. Sunny Badru died in 2012.


Between 1933 and 1946, he attended Baptist Academy, Lagos, Bishop Oluwole Memorial Grammar School, Agege, Lagos, and New High Class School, Lagos.


His work experience spans from various fields of endeavour when in 1948 he worked with West African Pictures in Lagos. In 1950 he worked with G.B. Ollivant Limited, and from 1953 to 1985 he worked with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in Lagos as a storeman, and was later seconded to Bulk Purchasing Unit of the Ministry of Trade, and then back to the Ministry of Works, after which he was redeployed to the Department of Customs and Excise, Training and Staff Development at the Training College, Ikeja, Lagos. And on 8th April, 1989 he retired as a Principal Stores Officer.


An aplomb gentleman, Sunny Badru is an accomplished International Football Referee, and now, a CAF/FIFA Match Commissioner as well as a successful retired Civil Servant. He started his Referee activities at the age of 18 and had an outstanding performance till date.


The first Nigerian Referee to be accorded the status of an International Referee, Sunny Badru in 1946 joined the Lagos Referees Association as a probational, and between 1946 and 1958, he was promoted to Grade l, and it was at this period that he officiated in Boys Club Football Matches, Lagos Amateur Football Association League matches for Division One, Two, and Three, and also Commercial and United Services League matches.


His first International match was in 1958, when he officiated along with Late Father Dennis Slattery as an Assistant Referee (Nigeria Vs Middlesex Wanderers). In 1959, he was recommended to FIFA to take up an Olympic Qualifying match between Uganda and Sudan. The match was played in Kampala on 3rd January, 1960

Golden whistle

His next International match was on October 1, 1960 between Nigeria and Moscow Dynamos at the national Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. He officiated in the Ghana F.A. Cup Final, also in 1960 - this was where he was presented with the Golden Whistle.


In 1961, he was honoured and privileged again to officiate in a match between Nigeria and Blackpool Football Club of England at the King George V Stadium, Onikan, Lagos.
In 1963, he officiated a match between Nigeria and Berliners from Germany. Between 1963 and 1967, he officiated in so many Principal Cup matches, League matches, Finals of Cup matches, and also officiated along with other International Referees all over Africa with the exception of South Africa during Olympic Qualifying matches and World Cup Qualifying matches.


In 1968, he was invited by FIFA as one of the Referees for the final of the 1968 Mexico Olympic matches where he was given a Diploma Certificate signed by Avery Brundage, the then President of International Olympic Committee (IOC).


Sunny Badru officiated up to the Quarter Finals in three different cities in Mexico namely, Leon, Guada- Lajara, and Aseetac Stadium. In 1976, he was again invited to the 21st Games of the Olympics held in Montreal, Canada, where he also got a Diploma Certificate signed by Roger Rousseau, President of the Organizing Committee and Commissioner- General of the Games, and Lord Killanin, President of International Olympic Committee. (This Game was later boycotted at the last minute by all the African Contingents due to Apartheid in South Africa).

All African Games

Shakibudeen Thompson Badru also officiated in matches during the All African Games between December 1964 and January 1965. Also, during the 1st West African Games held in both Lagos and Ibadan in 1977, Sunny Badru still put up an outstanding performance

African Cup

He was at the centre during the 1963 African Cup of Nations in Ghana as well as the 12th African Cup of Nations held in Nigeria in 1980.

source: Olawale Onibudo.

Did you know

  • In recognition of his merit as a National and International Referee and of his outstanding work as a Referee Instructor, the FIFA Referees Committee awarded Sunny T. Badru with a Certificate signed by Dr. Artemio Franchi, the Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee on 12th February, 1977 (The only Referee in Nigeria with this award)
  • He was also an Awardee of the National Sports Award in 1987 along with Late Father Slattery. Awardee of the Veteran Certificate from Abia State Referees Council, and also an Awardee of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF Ball Award).
  • When Sonny Badru became a FIFA referee he gave his address as "Federal Ministry of Works".
  • During the 9th African Youth Championship held in Nigeria in 1995, he was in charge of the Referees who were accommodated at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
  • In 2008, Late President Umar Musa Yar' Adua conferred on him the national Honourary Award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) and till date, Sunny Badru has remained a CAF Match Commissioner and has contributed immensely to the development of Football both in Lagos State, and Nigeria as a whole.
    source: Olawale Onibudo.
Totals Home Away Total
Penalties 0 0 0
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 0 2 2
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 1 1 2
Averages Home Away Total
Penalties 0 0 0
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 0 1 0.5
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0.5 0.5 0.5

Based on 2 international matches

Date Score Yellow Red Penalties Fouls
WC 1978 qualifiers - Africa
preliminariesNigerSierra Leone1976-03-212 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Olympic Games 1968
1st stageIsrael OTEl Salvador OT1968-10-153 - 1 2 (0-2)2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)