Today in 1969: Ghana loses prolific footballer Baba Yara after tragic accident

Today in 1969: Ghana loses prolific footballer Baba Yara after tragic accident

- Exactly 51 years ago on May 5, 1969, Ghana lost Baba Yara, an extraordinary footballer at the age of just 33

- Baba Yara had been involved in an accident on March 24, 1963, after his team, Republikans, won 5:0 in the Volta Region and were returning home

- The renowned Ashanti Kotoko player who was with Republikans at the time of the tragic accident was a winner of several awards

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On May 5, 1969, exactly 51 years ago today, Ghana lost an outstanding football star called Baba Yara at the age of 33 after he suffered a terrible accident.

According to a report sighted by on, Baba Yara was once a great player for Asante Kotoko and was known as the ‘King of Wingers’.

A big tragedy befell Baba's team, Republikans, on March 24, 1963.

After they played Volta Heroes at Kpando and won by 5-0, they got involved in a serious accident on their return journey.

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The 23-seater bus skidded off the road in a curve on a slippery road and hit an embankment, leaving Baba Yara paralyzed whilst 12 other players in the contingent suffered various degrees of injuries.

Baby Yara was sent abroad to the Stoke Mandeville Hospital where it was said there was the possibility of the football star ‘gaining a reasonable recovery within a period of four to six months.’

This was not to happen and on August 14 1963, Yara returned home in a wheelchair after which he lost his life on May 5, 1969.

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Born on October 12, 1936, at Kumasi, Yara grew up to become an incomparable Ghanaian winger and was twice voted the Footballer of the Year and won the highest soccer award of the state in 1961.

In European countries where Yara played as a member of the Black Stars, he was frequently referred to as Africa’s Stanley Mathews. The Kumasi Sports Stadium was named after him as well.

In an earlier report, a Ghanaian historian who appears to be stationed at the Ancestral River Park at Assin Manso in the Central Region of Ghana has argued that "Jamaica" is an Akan term.

In a snippet of GBCNews sighted by, the gentleman explains that the term "Jamaica" may sound like a word from the land of Jamaica itself but in reality, it was a group of Akan slaves that named the place with the term.

The historian explained that the word Jamaica actually comes from "perhaps, I've remained" in Twi.

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