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05.10.2005 Football News

Soccer Legends of Ghana Launched

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The Glory Days-The Soccer Legends of Ghana's Gold Coast, a compliation of the profiles of some of the greatest soccer players in post-independent Ghana has been launched at the Ghana High Commission in London. The soft-cover and beautifully illustrated book was written by a seventy-five year old accountant, Mr. Alex Ayim Ohene, himself a player in the late 1960s. The motive apart from historical record keeping was to help raise funds for the dying generation of players who made Ghana a name.

Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom who did the launch said the book was the eighth in a series the High Commission had done and it was purposely meant to encourage Ghanaian writers (both young and old) as well as publishers .

Freedom of speech in whatever form , the High Commissioner said, had become an asset in the country's democratic development and that the vibrancy of the private and independent press in Ghana for which Ghanaians '' should be proud of especially when it is used to promote national unity and development and not for personal vendetta and some individual's political agenda.'' He praised the author for his concentration of writing and the permanent honour he had given ordinary Ghanaians who graced our football fields ''with artistry and skill, with vibrancy and pure joy.'' Mr. Isaac Osei said the players ''who are described in this book show us that greatness is achieved by hard work, constant application and a desire to learn and share. These positive attributes which they exhibited should be instructive lessons for our footballers of today in an era where professionalism with massive sums of money are part and parcel of the beautiful game of football.'' When it got to the turn of Mr. Alex Ohene to speak, he was delighted that the book had finally come out and at a time that Ghana was poised to take its place in the global game with its likely qualification for the World Cup. But he was also sad because some of the leading lights were dying as paupers because they played at a period when their talents counted for less financially. Some of these players like James Agyei, Osei Kofi, Baba Yara he said, could compare to some of today's legends in the British premier soccer establishment.

The launch which was attended by many fans of the game and other dignatories included the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Sam Prempeh.

Dr. Agyeman Badu Akosah, Director of Ghana Health Services who auctioned several copies of the book said the idea to use proceeds to support the dying ex-stars was noble and worth supporting.

The Head of Public Affairs at the High Commission , Mr. Ivor Agyeman-Duah said the Commission's formalised structure to encourage book writing and reading among the Ghanaian diaspora in London would soon be made known.

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