Capitano. We wave goodbye to the most successful man in NBL history, as Tayo Oyefusi officially departs from the Storm.
Tayo has been with us for 3 years, after returning from a brief 1 year spell out of the game, but remained a renowned, experienced campaigner after successful D1 spells at both Solent and Northumbria. Tayo brought with him a useful habit of winning, having topped the D1 table with Northumbria in 2016/17 and in 2018/19 with Solent, alongside helping to clinch playoff glory. Oyefusi instantly showed his worth to the Storm, despite his first year being played behind closed doors due to Covid. He became a core member of the squad, well respected for his calm manner, steady head and immense leadership qualities.
Storm, alongside Oyefusi, managed to reach the playoff final where they lost out to Tayo’s former side Solent Kestrels. The feat was repeated in 2021/22, when again Storm reached the Manchester final, falling once more at the final hurdle to the Kestrels, although the margin was tighter and signs of progress were clear.
Throughout this year, Tayo was finally able to integrate into the wider Storm family as he became a fans-favourite with the Storm faithful, who were allowed into the StormDome once more, and officially became club captain. It was only in the most recent year of 22/23 that Tayo and the team’s hard work began to translate onto the floor in the form of trophies in an unmatched unbeaten season smashing the record books. With the National Cup, KitKing Trophy, NBL D1 season and playoff champions medals, Oyefusi individually became the most glorified player in NBL history, but his real passion and motivation was on behalf of the team and to deliver for the fans, as he made a series of crucial cameos from the bench to steady the ship and provided important spells in the match which were vital in maintaining the winning run. His unwavering dedication and the way he clearly lived every moment of the game on the bench, just like a fan, made Oyefusi special and we could always count on Tayo to deliver when called upon.
As we unfortunately move apart, we want to thank Tayo for everything he has brought to the club, on and off the court, and he will be dearly missed by everyone in the club. It simply won’t be the same without you, captain.
Written by Callum Humphrey
Photos by Luke Simcock