In a spate of five months, Ghana has witnessed the sudden demise of three (3) of our National Sports Heroes who have served our country with admirable dedication and patriotism and in the process won a lot of Sporting laurels for our dear nation.
These fallen legends are:
1. Late Frederick Osam Duodu
2. Late Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie
3. Late Sam Arday
FREDERICK OSAM DUODU (1938-2016)
On Tuesday 4th October 2016, Mr. Frederick Osam Duodu passed on at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.
The late Osam Duodu’s contributions to Ghana football is legendary and deserves great commendations. As a coach, he had stints with the Senior
National Team, the Black Stars at various periods from 1978 -1981; 1988- 1989 and also in 2002.
Having won the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil, Ghana, he went on to win gold with the Black Satellites at the Africa U-20 championships in Mauritius in 1993 as well as silver medal at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia.
As a matter of fact, Osam Duodu is the only coach to have won all the three main CAF national teams competitions. These are the CAF African Cup of Nations’ with the Black Stars, the CAF U-20 championships with the Black Satellites and the CAF U-17 championship as a coach of The Gambian U-17 national team in 2005.
Coach Osam Duodu also acted as a Technical Director and General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association and was the President of the National Football Coaches Association. He was also a CAF and FIFA Instructor.
EMMANUEL KWESI AFRANIE (1943-2016)
Coach Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie who is popularly known as Coach-Hene, is the only coach who has had the opportunity to handle all levels of the Ghana national football teams. He is also credited to have taken Ghana to four (4) different levels of world championships; winning one gold (1) with the Black Starlets in 1991 as an assistant coach and two (2) silver medals with the Black Satellites at Argentina in 2001 and the Black Starlets in 1997. Coach Hene is famed to have also qualified the Senior Women’s national football team (Black Queens) to their first World Cup in USA in 1999.
Coach Afranie’s remarkable knowledge of the game saw him unearthing talents such as Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, John Mensah, John Paintsil, Derrick Boateng, and the like who went on to form the key part of the Black Stars team that qualified Ghana to its first World Cup in Germany in 2006.
Coach EK Afranie also handled almost all the top football clubs at one point or the another during his coaching career. He indeed won the Ghana Premier League with Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak.
As a Chief Soccer Coach at the National Sports Council, Coach-hene’s belief in giving back to his country, saw him initiating programmes to train retired footballers across the country. It was through these coaching clinics that participating coaches conferred on him the title ‘Coach Hene’ (King of Coaches) for the impressive coaching programmes he organized for them.
SAM ARDAY (1945-2017)
Coach Sam Arday who was well known as the “multi-system man” was the Technical Director of Ghana Premier League side- West Africa Football Academy’ until his demise.
He was the coach of Ghana’s Olympic Soccer Bronze Medal winning team at Barcelona ’92, a feat which made Ghana the first African country to win an Olympic medal in football.
He then became head coach of the Ghana national Under-17 football team, the Black Starlets, who won the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship trophy in Ecuador and the African Under-17 Championship in Mali in 1995.
He also coached the national Under-20 football team and various club sides including Ashgold, Asante Kotoko and Feyenoord.
He was the coach of the Black Stars from 1996 to 1997, and again in 2004.
May their souls and the souls of other sports heroes and heroines rest in perfect peace.