7 top sports personalities who have died recently

7 top sports personalities who have died recently

Within the week, we have heard news of the 'unlawful detention' of the daughters of former Black Stars coach, the late Herbert Addo.

We have also had former President John Mahama visiting the family of the late Alhaji Hearts, a long serving management member of the Accra Hearts of Oak.

News of this nature obviously brings nostalgic memories of these prominent personalities who contributed so much to sports in Ghana.

YEN.com.gh brings you a list of the sports personalities who have died in recent times:

1. Alhaji Hearts

Alhaji Hearts died in 2018
Alhaji Hearts

Known privately as Alhaji Suleiman Braimah, he got his name from his love for Ghana Premier League giants, Accra Hearts of Oak.

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He was a long serving member of Hearts' board and management and was around when the club conquered Africa in 2000.

He died last Wednesday at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.

He will always be remembered as one of the greatest football managers Ghana has seen.

2. Herbert Addo

Herbert Addo died in 2017
Coach Herbert Addo

Coach Herbert Addo was a record setting coach with close to 40 years of experience before his death in March 2017.

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Born June 24, 1951 in Accra to parents from Aburi Konkonduri in the Eastern Region of Ghana, he coached over 15 different clubs in his career.

Notable among them were, Hearts of Oak, Aduana, Asante Kotoko and Goldfields (Ashgold), whom he took the first CAF Champions League final in 1997 losing on penalties to Raja Casablanca.

He won the Ghana league on two occasions and with two different clubs, Hearts of Oak in 2002 and Aduana in 2010. He is one of two coaches to achieve this feat.

He also coached the Black Stars, winning the 1986 and 87 WAFU tournaments and also the Black Meteors at some point.

3. E.K. Afranie

Coach E.K. Afranie died in 2016
Coach E.K. Afranie

Coach Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie was nicknamed "Coach hene", which means, Chief Coach.

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That should tell you his stature as a coach on the local scene.

He had successes both as club and national team coach.

At club level, he was head coach for a number of premier league clubs and won the league with both Hearts of Oak (1997) and Asante Kotoko (2005).

He was one of the few coaches to have handled national teams at all age levels. He is widely remembered for taking Ghana's U-20 national team to the finals of the FIFA World Youth Chmapionship in 2001.

His team had the likes of Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, John Mensah, John Paintsil and Derek Boateng who would later play integral roles in qualifying Ghana to its first World Cup in 2006.

He died, on November 9, 2016, in a tragic accident while being transported to Kumasi in ambulance. He was 73.

4. Sam Arday

Coach Sam Arday died in 2017
Coach Sam Arday

Coach Sam Arday died on February 12, 2017, aged 71.

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He had two spells as the coach of the Black Stars in 1996-97 and 2004 but he had most of his successes as at the age level teams.

In 1991, he led the Black Satellites to the 1991 Africa Youth Championship in Egypt, finishing third.

Coach Arday followed it up with a Bronze medal for the U-23 team, Black Meteors, at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, the first such accolade for any African team.

But his best was yet to come as as he led the U-17 team, the Black Starlets, to the 1995 FIFA U-17 World title and the African Under-17 Championship in Mali that same year.

At club level, he is mostly remembered for his time at the then Feyenoord Academy at Gomoa Fetteh which helped bring up football talents.

5. Cecil Jones Attuquayefio

Coach Attuquayefio died in 2015 while Sam Arday died in 2017
Coach Cecil Jones Attuquayefio (R) with Coach Sam Arday

Jones Attuquayefio was not only a great coach but a very good player who helped the Black Stars win the 1965 African Cup of Nations.

Though he was a star player for Accra Great Olympics during a playing career shortlived by an injury, it was with their city rivals Accra Hearts of Oak that he made his name as a coach.

Appointed in 1998, he won several league titles with the Phobians in his time and capped it with the CAF Champions League in 2000.

Coach Attuquayefio who came to be known as 'Sir' also won the 2004 CAF Confederations Cup for Hearts of Oak beating their bitterest rivals Asante Kotoko.

He is credited with moulding, arguably, the greatest Hearts of Oak team ever.

Later in his career, he took charge of Liberty Professionals.

He died on May 12, 2015, at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana's capital, from throat cancer.

6. Ben Koufie

Ben Koufie died in 2016
Ben Koufie

Mr Ben Koufie could be described as the ultimate football person.

He had a career as a player, coach and an administrator.

Having played as a striker for Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs and Kumasi Cornerstones he entered coaching.

Mr Koufi was the assistant to C.K Gyamfi when Ghana won the 1963 and 1965 Africa Cup of Nations. He coached the Black Stars to a second-place finish in 1970 in Sudan.

At club level, he led Asante Kotoko to the Africa Club Championship in 1971.

In 2001, he was named the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Chairman replacing Dr Nyaho Tamakloe. He served until changes in the GFA led to him being replaced by Kwesi Nyantakyi in 2004.

Born on June 5 1932, he was 84 when he died on July 4, 2016.

7. Christopher Opoku

Ace broadcaster Christopher Opoku died in 2017
Christopher Opoku

Ace sports broadcaster, Christopher Opoku passed away on May 10, 2017 after almost four years of battling cancer.

For a very long time, he was considered as the best English commentator in the country.

Born in Scotland, Christopher Opoku's very distinctive British accent stood him out in his sports broadcasting career which lasted for almost 18 years.

Before his death, Christopher was last employed at Citi FM but had previously worked with Metro TV and Ghana Television as a sports journalist and analyst. Many remember him for his kindness and outspoken nature.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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