Today in history: Stephen Appiah named SWAG Sportsman of the Year
On 1st September, 2007, Stephen Appiah was voted the "SWAG Onetouch Sports Personality of 2006" at the Association's 32nd Awards Night, which came off at the Banquet Hall of the State House.
Appiah, who contributed immensely to the success of the senior national team in all competitions including their maiden appearance at FIFA World Cup in Germany and the African Cup of Nations in Egypt rose above his deputy, John Mensah and long jumper Ignatius Gaisah for the topmost award.
Appiah, then playing Fenerbache in Turkey based was however absent but his mum, Comfort Afua Mortey received the converted prize on his behalf.
The well-attended event, dedicated to honour outstanding sportsmen and women within the year in review was spiced up with the presence of some very important dignitaries including Ministers of State and Members of the Diplomatic Corps amongst others.
The presence of most of the award winners including then Black Stars defender John Mensah , who flew down from Rennes, France made the ceremony a befitting one for the nation's Golden Jubilee Independence Anniversary and was beamed live by Accra-based Metropolitan Television (Metro TV).
In his opening remarks, Mr Ackah Anthony, President of the Association at the time urged Government to build more stadia and other sporting infrastructure to put the nation in a better position to host international major events in the immediate future.
Mr Anthony also commended the Patrons of the Association for their support towards the growth of the association especially their finance assistance, which he said has made the sports inky-fraternity very strong and firm in their activities.
He also commended the major sponsors, Onetouch and others for the support at making the event a success.
Professor Dominic Fobih, the Minister of Education, Science and Sports at the time who chaired the function on behalf of the then President John Agyekum Kufuor said government made provision for the construction of multi-complex Sports Halls across the country.
In all 25 awards were presented to various sports personalities with the ex-Black Stars skipper picking the topmost award.
In the Footballer of the Year category, John Mensah pipped Black Stars team mates Appiah and Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien in addition to grabbing a special Meritorious Award for his contributions to the national team.
SWAG also presented a Special Award to President Kufuor for his support towards the development of sports as well as the late James Oyebola, former World Junior Heavyweight Champion, who was shot a few weeks before the awards. The award was received on his behalf by his brother Kelly Oyebola.
Other sponsors of the event were Akosombo Textile Limited, Stanbic Bank Limited, Coca Cola Bottling Company Limited, Ghana International Airline, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, Bahmed Travel and Tours, T T Brother, Primex Ghana Limited, Aquafil Ghana Limited among others.
Below is the full list of award winners:
• 2006 SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR - Stephen Appiah
• MALE FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR - John Mensah
• FEMALE FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR - Sheila Okine
• SPECIAL MERITORIOUS AWARDS -Richard Kingston -John Mensah
• FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Vida Anim
• MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Ignatius Gaisah
• DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR - Anita Amankwah
• PROMISING PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Alhaji Saanie Mohamed
• REFEREE OF THE YEAR - Alex Kotey
• PROFESSIONAL BOXER OF THE YEAR - Yakubu Amidu
• AMATEUR BOXER OF THE YEAR - Awusoni Yekini
• VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR- Iddrisu Banousin Wakiki
• HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR (MALE) - Salia Nsalbini
• HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR (FEMALE) - Emily Aggrey
• WEIGHTLIFTER OF THE YEAR - Majetie Fetrie
• YOUNG GOLFER OF THE YEAR -Nicolo Catto
• FEMALE GOLFER OF THE YEAR - Mona Captan
• DEDICATION AND VALOUR - Cynthia Akweley Lamptey
• CHAIRMAN OF THE YEAR - Cliff Aboagye
• SPECIAL AWARD - Ataa Lartey
• MALE HANDBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Peter Amegashie
• COACH OF THE YEAR - David Duncan
• TEAM OF THE YEAR - Black Stars
• SCRABBLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Michael Quao
• FEMALE HANDBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Comfort Danso