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Sports News of Friday, 27 May 2022


Emmanuel Quarshie: The sad story of Ghana's AFCON winning captain who died a pauper

Emmanuel Quarshie died in 2013 Emmanuel Quarshie died in 2013

GhanaWeb Feature

The night of March 19, 1982 continues to hold its place as the last surreal and biggest night in Ghanaian football history. It's the night Ghana became a four-time winner of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Whiles the night of Ghana’s qualification to the quarter-final of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 may rival this night, most Ghanaians would trade a quarter-final appearance at the World Cup for an AFCON trophy.

That night in Libya happens to be the last time a Ghanaian player will lay his hands on an AFCON trophy with the country quest for the coveted trophy proving elusive for over four decades.

That night, for those who witnessed it was good as it came via marathon penalty shootout in the presence of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadafi whose protégé had taking control of Ghana through a blood-less coup weeks before the tournament.

Ghana’s team for that tournament was led by the inspiration and gifted attacking midfielder Emmanuel Quarshie. Quarshie was loved and appreciated not just for his immense football talents but also his personality that made him stand above some of his colleagues.

Quarshie, per historical accounts, had a successful football career both at club level where he notably played Hasaacas and Egyptian side Zamalek and the national team.

Quarshie would hang his boots at some point and focus on coaching and other aspect of the game. Sickness then struck the legendary player and rendered him incapacitated and bedridden.

Various accounts of Quarshie’s struggle mention Parkinson disease as the ailment that attacked and deprived the great attacking midfielder of an enjoyable life in his latter years.

News of Quarshie’s sickness occasionally flooded the media space with appeals for support for the captain who won Ghana its last AFCON title.

While some private individuals reportedly offered their token, the country for which Quarshie toiled and won glory did not look his way.

Successive government’s played deaf and blind to Quarshie’s predicament until Zamalek got wind of his situation and flew him over to Egypt in July 2012.

Unfortunately for Zamalek and Quarshie, the help came a little too late as doctors, according to Saddick Adams of Angel FM, told the officials of the club that Quarshie could have been saved had he arrived a week earlier.

After year’s struggle with the ailment, Emmanuel Quarshie died a destitute in Takoradi in 2013.

Describing the state of the legendary captain before his death, Saddick Adam said “Quarshie got sick and was bedridden for years. At the time of his death, his tongue had rotten. He went to the Sports Ministry and Ghana Health Service and they all denied knowing him. It was Zamalek who came to Ghana to fly him to Egypt for treatment.

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