Tag: Ghana black stars


A Ghanaian Footballing Pioneer: The Legend of CK Gyamfi

As summer 2015 began its first forays into autumn, one of the brightest Black Stars dimmed, fading away into the ages. Charles (Nana) Kumi Gyamfi, more popularly known as C.K. Gyamfi, passed on to glory on 2nd September 2015. In his wake, he leaves a legacy which still looms large over the landscape of Ghanaian football.

gfa_mourns_passing_of_legendary_coach_ck_gyamfi_975092106Born in Accra in 1929, Gyamfi began playing football at the age of 7 in junior school. His precocious talent was noticeable from the off, and he became an integral part of his School XI, playing against boys bigger and taller than him. Due to his special talent, he gained admission into the Accra Royal School in 1944, despite the School being closed to further admissions as they had no vacancies!

He started his senior professional career with Sailors Football Club in 1948. After a match against the Ebusua Dwarfs in which he excelled against the opposition, he was persuaded to join them for a brief time before commencing a 5 year run playing for the Asante Kotoko. Noted for being the pivot around which Kotoko’s attack rotated, Gyamfi earned the right to play for the Gold Coast team which toured the United Kingdom in 1951. The Gold Coast team stunned their opponents, playing barefoot on British shores and scoring a total of 25 goals, with CK Gyamfi scoring 11 of those goals!

On his return to Ghana, armed with his first pair of boots, he introduced football boots to the Ashanti and Southern Gold Coast playing circles, and is credited by some as leading the charge which led to every team in the nation adopting football boots. He formed the Kumasi Great Ashanti in 1954, following a big split in the Kotoko camp, leading them to many great victories. After 2 years, he left the Great Ashantis and joined the Hearts of Oak, helping them win their first Cleague title in 1956 as well as being the inaugural winners of the league title in a newly independent Ghana in 1958. His 4 year stint at Hearts ended in 1960, when he secured a transfer to Fortuna Düsseldorf – becoming the first African football to ply their trade in German football! He scored on his debut and was held in affection by the Düsseldorf faithful, nicknamed ‘Tunda Vita’ (meaning ‘Thunder Weather’) due to his powerful shots.

He then entered football management, becoming assistant coach in 1961 before taking full charge of the Ghana National Team in 1962 following the departure of the Hungarian Black Star head coach Joseph Ember. Winning the Uhuru Cup in Uganda, Ghana then went on to win the West African Gold Cup. Gyamfi then led Ghana to their first Africa Cup of Nations championship in 1963, before repeating the feat 2 years later in 1965. For those who may have considered that achievement a fluke, an anomaly achieved in the 1960s where football was a lesser standard, CK Gyamfi stuffed their opinions back down their throats as he returned to manage the Black Stars in 1982 and secured a record third Africa Cup of Nations crown! Even now, more than 30 years after becoming the first manager to win three Africa Cup of Nations championships, only one coach has managed to equal the feat, and none have been able to surpass it.

Such a figure simply could not be ignored, and Mr Gyamfi continued to be an important voice in Ghanaian football. Most significantly, towards the end of his life when asked about Ghana’s failures in international competition, he bemoaned a culture among today’s generation motivated by love of money rather than national pride. “The players that I worked with played for the love of the game and were totally committed to playing for their country,” said the man known in football circles by his initials, CK. He added: “Today’s players don’t know the value of the national jersey but my players were prepared to die for their country.”

CK-169x300He became a chief of Okorasi, a small town in the Eastern Region of Ghana, in 1999 when the stool of the town became vacant. He also received honours in the form of being named a ‘National Sports Hero’ and being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, as well as having the National Sports College in Winneba being named after him. The former captain of Accra Hearts of Oak & Ghana Black Stars, and the engineer of three of Ghana’s four Africa Cup of Nations triumphs, CK Gyamfi leaves behind his wife Madam Valerie Quartey Gyamfi (who was a former national tennis player herself) and eight sons.

By Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Black Stars Launch New Kit…

Black Stars World Cup Strip revealed

 

With 99 days left until the start of the greatest sporting show on earth the Ghanaian national team have revealed the strip they will be wearing in Brazil. The jersey (modelled by Ghana captain, Asamoah Gyan) still designed by PUMA keeps the original white and  red kit for Home and away respectively. The home shirt features bold African inspired graphic print inserts on the neck and sleeves that represent the pride of Ghana and the national team nickname the Black Stars. The print is created in the national flag colours, with stars and a football field graphic.

 

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The away kit in it’s trademark red has a similar print on the sleeve as the home kit but there is also a subtle larger design print on the front of the shirt which can only be seen at close quarters. The new kits feature PUMA’s new football apparel innovation PWR ACTV, a first-to-market use of both athletic taping and compression within the apparel.

The ACTV tape is strategically placed within the garment to provide micro-massages on the skin, working with the human body to help maximise performance and provide players with a faster, more effective energy supply to the active muscles. This combined with the underarm mesh inserts for increased breathability and freedom of movement, is designed to help Ghana have a competitive advantage at this year’s World Cup.

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The kit will be worn for the first time when Ghana take on Montenegro in an international friendly in Podgorica this evening. I will be sure to grab a jersey when it comes out

Will you be grabbing yours? let me know what you think of the new designs..

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana Football News…

Stevanovic sacked!  Is it now time to go Home-grown?

 

Former Black Stars coach Goran Stevanovic

It has long been the opinion of many Ghanaians since the departure of Claude Leroy as Head coach in 2008 that the Ghanaian FA should look towards a Ghanaian coach to lead the Black Stars to glory. Of Course this didn’t happen and the Serbian Milovan Rajevac took over and led the Blackstars to their first World Cup quarter final. Now Less than two years after he quit as manager another Serbian has left the Black Stars.

The writing was on the wall for Goran Stevanovic and his sacking six weeks after he failed to lead the Black Stars to African Nations Cup glory, hardly comes as a surprise, although he claims it was. After plenty of delay and deliberation, the Ghanaian FA (GFA) eventually chose to dismiss the Serb with ten months left on his contract.

A statement from the Ghana FA read: “The Ghana Football Association has parted company with Goran Stevanovic as the Black Stars coach today. This comes after three weeks of extensive meetings to ensure that the best decision is taken in the best interest of the nation.”

Assistant coach Akwesi Appiah has been asked to take temporary charge until a permanent successor is found. Many people will argue that the GFA should give him the job on a permanent basis – such is the opinion amongst Ghanaians of selecting a home grown coach. Ghana have not had a Ghanaian coach on a full time basis since 2002 when Emmanuel Akwasi Afranie took up the reigns and even then his tenure only lasted a year.

Ghana’s renaissance as an international footballing power was reignited in 2006 when another Serbian Ratomir Dujković led the blackstars to their first ever World Cup appearance. Since then Ghana have not done too badly with foreign coaches reaching the semi final of CAN 2008, the final of CAN 2010, and of course the World Cup quarter final 2010 all with foreigners at the helm. However the older generation will point to our last CAN championship win in1982 when legendary Ghanaian coach, Charles Kumi Gyamfi led Ghana to glory. This made him the most successful coach in CAN history, having won it three times in total.

However in spite of this many will say it’s time for a change. If Ghana are to appoint a home-grown coach, among the names in contention will be Akwasi Appiah, Silah Tetteh & Herbert Addo (who was in the running two years ago).The GFA aim to appoint Stevanovic’s successor  in time for  when the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign begins against Lesotho in June. Only time will tell who that person will be.

Do you think the GFA were right to sack Stevanovic and is it time the Black Stars are appointed a Ghanaian coach? Will this change our fortunes on the field and enable us to win that elusive title?

Leave your comments below.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (Kwesi)

Inspirational People:

THE GHANA BLACKSTARS!

 

The Ghana Black Stars

 

Ok so I’m aware that when it comes to the Ghana Blackstars, sometimes Ghanaians don’t want to hear it, since they many missed opportunities at the African Cup of Nations.

But come on, it’s inspirational Month& Ghana Independence Month so let’s be inspired. So please read on…

 

Let’s take it back to the unforgettable, 2010 World Cup, Ghana became one of the few African team to reach the World Cup Quarter finals. Yes, Ghana had to pay the penalty, but enough about that.

The courage, bravery and determination each player possessed during the World cup made the Ghanaian nation proud. Ghana had the whole of Africa behind them, Nigeria, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya… The whole Africa united, rooting for GHANA.

All the players, especially Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan, John Paintsil, John Mensah, Andre Ayew…and not to forget the others – they all inspired me. WHY? Because, young boys like my little brother want to score a wicked goal like Asamoah Gyan. WHY? Because in my eyes they did not let us down, but showed true bravery and determination to make Ghana’s mark in football history.

Football is not easy.  In order for the Black Stars to get as far as the World cup, they had to qualify to play, and that itself was a lot of hard work. We have to praise them more… Give them more *VIM* So next time they can come back BIGGER, BETTER & STRONGER

The Black stars fought hard to make Ghana’s Mark in Football History.

MeFiRi GHANA are proud to say the Ghana Blackstars have inspired us!!

Have they inspired you? If yes then tweet us @MeFiRiGHANA & say why.

 

BY CLOUDIA

Win 2 FREE tickets to see Brazil v Ghana!

Me FiRi GHANA have TWO tickets to give away FREE (yes FREE) to go and watch Ghana vs Brazil this Monday at Fulham FC Ground

If YOU want the chance to win a pair of tickets to the hotly-anticipated international friendly simply answer the following question:

Who is the captain of the Ghana Blackstars Team?

A: Asamoah Gyan
B: Jonathan Mensah
C: John Mensah

E-mail your Answer along with your Full Name and Contact Number to:

info@mefirighana.com

Winner will be announced Sunday at 9pm

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Ghana vs Nigeria 9th August 2011

Ghana vs Nigeria officially supports Me FiRi GHANA’s WAM Campaign

Where: Watford Football club – Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire

Date: Tuesday 9th August 2011

Time: KO 7.45pm till 9:45pm

The two West African Giants the Black Stars and the Super Eagles clash again on 9th August 2011

FIFA/UEFA match agent Justin Addo, speaking at a press conference held on the 22nd June 2011 at the Ghana High Commission said:

“There is a huge Nigerian and Ghanaian community in the UK and other parts of Europe who are keen on this game and we will make things easy for them to be able to bring their friends and families to the game. Even though the game will be

5 Reasons we LOVE Ghana

1 – Independence Under Kwame Nkrumah Ghana became the first African State
to achieve independence from colonial rule in 1957.

2 – Football Watching a match with a fellow Ghanaian I guarantee is one of the most
exciting/loud things you could ever experience.
Watching a match with us is always a vibrant experience and usually includes
expressive noises, insults, chants, shouting, and lots and lots of celebratory dancing
don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3 – Dance We have the best dancer obviously known as Asamoah Gyan the sunderland footballer a.k.a baby jet.

4 – Films Jackie Appiah Is amongst one of the best actresses in Africa, as well as doing
us proud by receiving the awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2010 African Movie Academy Awards

5 – Transport – It’s great to have your own ride, But what tops, being driven around anywhere in the city for less than a dollar using the Tro-Tro service – where you squeeze into a big van full of people, wailing babies, baskets of food, and sometimes even animals, and hiss at the mate when you want to “alight” and just relax and enjoy the interesting conversation which usually pops up with the driver.

We have certainly progressed as a nation from the Yaa asantwaa war, to the 2010 world cup ( An unforgettable moment), Ghana’s collaboration with cadbury’s chocolate and so many more…

By CLOUDIA

African Cup of Nations: Ghana 3 -1 Congo

On the day that the Me FiRi GHANA Team launched the 2011 WAM Campaign at the Ghana High Commission (UK), the Ghana football team were playing an important match back in Ghana. The Black Stars emphatically beat Congo 3 goals to one in a must win game against Congo in an African Cup of Nations qualifier match; which took place in Kumasi.

To see some of the highlights, see the video below guys:

Ghanaian Celebrity: Michael Essien the Bison

So Michael Essien has finally announced his return to international football after a one year absence (felt longer actually). He will be available for the Black stars next game; the African nations qualifier against Congo on 06 June 2011. Essien said; I am fully ready to return to the Black Stars for our next Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo in June,” he also added ; “I really want to help my country to qualify for the next year’s Africa Cup of Nations so I am ready to join my colleagues to help the country to qualify.”

This will be welcome news to many Ghanaians but I have to say the Black Stars have not exactly missed him (we reached the African nations final and World Cup quarter final without him) and emerging players such as Kwado Asamoah and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu have shone in central midfield in his absence.

 Furthermore the reason for his hiatus was in order for him to regain his form and fitness following a series of injuries. However for me since he has returned from his most recent injury the midfielder nicknamed ‘the bison’ has looked anything but and in fact the name ‘the sheep’ might be more apt to sum up his recent performances.

Some of you may think I am being harsh; but such is the standard Michael Essien has set over the years seeing him play average games does not sit well with me.  I’m used to see him dominate midfield, make crunching tackles and driving runs into the opposition half and to be honest I haven’t seen much of this since his return.

There is a suggestion that he may not be able to simply walk straight back in the team and regain his place (as Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari found in the world cup). As I mentioned before other players have done well in his absence and Ghana have developed an effective system of playing without a him, it will be interesting to see how the coach accommodates him.

However his return can only be good for Ghana such is his pedigree and hopefully pulling on the Black stars will help him rediscover his form and produce the type performances that earnt him the nickname “the bison”

Ben JK Anim-Antwi

More Than Just A Game Part 4…Oh What A Night!

Where do I begin? Well let me firstly say how relieved I am that we did not lose. However Asamoah Gyan dancing his way through the England penalty box before placing a pinpoint shot past the keeper in the 92nd minute was only half the story on what was a memorable night at Wembley.

The evening began with ecstatic noise from the crowd which could be heard all the way from Wembley Park tube station as the vibrant and colourful Ghanaian contingent made their way up Wembley and into the stadium. I was actually running late myself and got to my seat just in time to hear the last 30 seconds of the national anthem which I was quite disappointed about ( as I wanted to beat my chest with pride throughout whilst singing along !) but the 93 minutes of action which was to follow more than made up for that disappointment.

As the game kicked off you would have been forgiven for thinking this was a ‘friendly’ game. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and the players on both sides rose to this as the game was played at a blistering high tempo. The 21,000 Ghanaian fans played a huge part in the atmosphere with chants of “go Ghana, Ghana must goal & put pepper in their eyes” and the English came back with chants of “England, England”.

On the pitch the players did an excellent job of keeping us entertained with chances for both sides. In truth it was a game of two halves with England having the better of the first half and Ghana coming back in the second. When the half time whistle blew the Ghanaian fans were still in good spirits even though we were 1-0 down and the sight of Andre Ayew warming up brought cheers and optimism from the crowd.

Throughout the second half the atmosphere was immense as the players kept up the high tempo. Ghana had really settled into the game and were creating chances, surely it was only a matter of time. Then on 92 Minutes Mr Gyan stepped up to the plate and produced a piece of individual skill that was worth the entrance fee alone, it was sheer pandemonium on the terraces as we celebrated wildly,  there were high fives all round and I saw strangers hugging each other, it was truly a moment to savour. Celebrations continued after the final whistle as the players saluted the crowd and I struggled to find my camera to get some pictures of the players.

As the fans left the stadium nobody, English or Ghanaian left with the feeling of being ‘short changed’ as is the case a lot of the time with International friendlies.  Ghana have raised the bar for future friendly games at Wembley with such a committed and passionate display. One English fan even came up to me and suggested that England v Ghana should be an annual fixture as it was such an enjoyable watch and with talk of a return match in Accra who knows.

Although Gyan will inevitably take all the plaudits, credit should go to the whole team and to the fans who were brilliant and conducted themselves brilliantly throughout the night I was truly proud to be Ghanaian last night and thousands more were too.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi