Admirers of former Black Stars skipper, Stephen Appiah who has decided to hang his football boots after a Testimonial Match in Accra on June 27, 2015 have described him as very humble and his humility is of very high standard.
Yours truly and the crew of GFA TV went to Chorkor, his place of birth and talked to some of the opinion leaders and football fans in the area.
Chorkor is noted for producing fish and footballers, so it was not strange that he hailed from James Town, British Accra and was born and bred at Chorkor.
According to his uncles and aunties at Alomo Junction in Chorkor, Stephen Appiah was born to be a star, so they were not surprised when he was taken through the back door by former Sports Minister, Hon. E.T. Mensah, a former footballer himself who saw his potential and ordered that he should be part of the National Under 17 team that went to Ecuador and made Ghana pround by winning the World Cup in 1995.
Adja Gaddafi, a keen Kotoko fan who loves watching Appiah play said he was sad that he played for his rivals, however he respected the captain a lot and wished him well any time any where. He said Stephen Appiah was born to be great and to be an example that Chorkor can produce stars and superstars for Ghana.
Eric Doudu, a very close relation of the Tornado described him as very cool and collected with football as his only love. He said Appiah loved football so much that when he is sent to by something, he can forget and join friends to play football, so he was never shocked that he became an international star.
Nellis Lutherodt, another senior friend of the Appiah family at Chorkor noted that Stephen Appiah’s life should be an example for all sportsmen because he was humble and respected a lot. He said Appiah made it to the top through his hard work and determination. He advised the youth to learn from the Tornado as he was very gentile and humble.
Nicholas Dodoo said his nephew made it for Ghana and became a world class footballer because he was dedicated and loyal to football and he respected the elderly.
According to Bro Nicho, though Appiah came from a poor background he never neglected his roots and any time the people of Chorkor went to him, he was able to settle them and made people very happy.
“In fact Nii Baani, as he called his household name was a real star who was made to lead Ghana and he paid his dues to Ghana Football” he expressed.
Among the people who were interviewed was former Hearts of Oak goalie Laud Quartey who currently resides at Chorkor and he said Stephen Appiah was a real motivator who supported the local players a lot.
“He motivated me a lot and I am very proud of my captain, am very proud that he is a Ghanaian, a real Ga from James Town and was born and bred at Chorkor where other stars like Sam Johnson, Aziz Ansah, Sanka Ansah, Awule Quaye, Lantei Botchway, Emmanuel Botchway aka Alantan, Annan Pele, Akwei MacClean and others once lived” he added.
Fanabacha, one of the crazy fans of the former Ghana captain said he loves him too much and he took the name Fanabacha when Appiah went to play in Turkey, but can never change the name because it is historic. He appealed to the organisers of the match to donate some tickets to the real fans at Chorkor since they have contributed to his progress as a football star. the AMA guard said Stephen Appiah is the best footballer he knows, not even C Ronaldo and Messi can compare in his standard.
Christian Sabah, one of his playing mates at the Under 17 level said he wanted to come down to play in the Testimonial Game, but some other assignments can not force him to come, however he wished every supporter of the event well and urged the organisers to keep on their good work for footballers
Meanwhile the President of the Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantekyi has also said Appiah is the best captain of the Black Stars.
“I dare say in my opinion you were the best captain,” the GFA said. “My measurement of success is not only based on winning of trophies, but provision of good leadership, leading the team and ensuring stability in it, building good rapport among players and between players and management and also ensuring that there is harmony and mutual respect.”
He added: “And these were the hallmarks of your leadership when you were the captain of the Black Stars.”
The former Juventus midfielder will display for the last in his testimonial game on Saturday, June 27 at the Accra Sports Stadium.