Back in the day when Dr Kwame Nkrumah ruled as president of Ghana, he ensured that the national senior football team, Black Stars had all the needed motivation and morale for every match they played on the continent especially the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
According to Ghanaian football legend, Reverend Kofi Pare, the late president always charged them to play with all their hearts and never to forget that they were representing the entire.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on GhanaWeb’s Sports Check with Perez Erzoah, the retired footballer recalled how Dr Kwame Nkrumah had an intimate conversation with players ahead of the 1963 AFCON that witnessed the Ghana National Team emerging champions.
“Ohene Djan would go with us to Nkrumah and when we go there, he would talk to us that he wants us to win.
“He (president) will be telling us a lot of stories or he will give us a strong message that it is better you win the match you are going to play. This is what Nkrumah was saying. The reason is that your mother and father have not bothered playing before. They have not even travelled outside Ghana before. The players were about 22 and the whole of Ghana is over millions. You are called to be among the 22, meaning you are good in football and so when you go, go and die for your nation. By that, we had to take care of the place we were playing. If you are a goalkeeper, take care of the ball.
“He will speak to us individually and collectively. Then he will tell us that, when we go, we should put what he told us into practice,” Mr Pare recalled.
The retired footballer also credited Ohene Djan, the late sports administrator for his contribution to the team and the dominance they had on the continent in terms of football.
“There will be other people Ohene Djan will invite people to come talk to us. Somebody like Kweku Baako’s father, I think he was the Sports Minister at that time,” Rev Kofi Pare told GhanaWeb.