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Jerome’s Take: Celebrating Asamoah Gyan

Listening to Joy FM’s chat with Asamoah Gyan on Easter Monday on the launch of his book, I racked my brain to find out when last a Ghanaian footballer or sportsman of his standing authored his life and achievements in a book for unborn generations. 

I got Kwasi Appiah’s ‘Leaders Don’t Have to Yell’. I’ve known of the fine work being done by colleague journalist, Fiifi Anaman on C. K. Gyamfi. Of course, I’m so young in this business; I may therefore not know anything but in contemporary Ghana football history, you won’t lay hands on many well documented stories of our great footballers.

Celebrated sports writers and broadcasters; Oheneba Charles, Ken Bediako, Joe Aggrey, Kwabena Yeboah, Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, Karl Tufouh and Moses Foh-Amoaning have often shared stories of our great footballers in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and that’s all.

It’s either our football stars are indifferent to writing or getting their stories written in books for future generations to read and be inspired. That’s got to change. For icons who’ve circled the world, using football boots to ignite passion and bring honour to Ghana, one of things they can do to live till eternity is to document their lives.

I’ve read newspaper stories on Baba Yara, Osei Kofi, Wilberforce Mfum, Mohammed Polo and Sunday Ibrahim for example. I watched Abedi Pele and Tony Yeboah play in Ghana and Europe but unlike me, those born in the late 1990s and early 2000s may however have no or scant knowledge of these great players.

It’s the reason, I celebrate Asamoah Gyan – a former Black Stars captain with 109 caps and 51 goals, who’s played on virtually every part of this planet. I would love to see his a career documentary, not just his book to be launched on April 30, 2022 in Accra.

Titled, Legyandary: An Autobiography of Asamoah Gyan, it “captures the untold and captivating true life events”. A website on the book says: “In this book, Gyan bares his soul. He seeks no sympathy; he simply wants his side of an often-one-sided story to be heard, introducing us to names, people and influences we did not know before.”

It concludes: “LeGyanDary is not only for football fanatics. It is written to challenge those who fear their dreams, to empathize with the misunderstood, and to start a conversation about how we treat our icons – for good, and for bad.”

Gyan hasn’t retired. He wants to play for Asante Kotoko if returns to active football. That will be fun. So much has been and can be said about Asamoah Gyan but one thing is undeniable: His goals – it’s evoked both pain and joy – ecstatic moments that got football fans talking worldwide. That’s how football is.

Gyan has played and lived the game; coming to and leaving us with unquantifiable emotions and memories. He still wants to be etched onto our minds with his must-be riveting book. That’s a classic finish from a gifted finisher.

Credit: Jerome Otchere

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