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Sports News of Thursday, 2 August 2018


From goalkeeping to defence: The Sam Johnson story

Sam Johnson played 45 times for Ghana as a centre back play videoSam Johnson played 45 times for Ghana as a centre back

Sam Foyoo Johnson gained worldwide recognition for his tough-tackling and rugged style of defending. The well-built centre-back falls in the category of defenders usually referred to as ‘no-nonsense’.

In an international career spanning 9 years, Foyoo made 43 appearances for Ghana and became a fans’ favourite for his direct and pro-active style of defending.

At club level, Sam Johnson who is affectionately called Foyoo enjoyed relative success as a centre-back, playing for some of the top-rated teams in Belgium and Turkey.

He hung his boots with a record of more than 398 games, scoring 43 goals in the course of his 15-year career.

But Sam Johnson did not start his career as a defender. His first footballing experience he recalls came as a make-shift goalkeeper for a Colts club that held its training sessions at the Indafa Park in Mamprobi, a suburb of Accra.

Sam Johnson recalls with excitement his transition from goalkeeping to defence in a riveting interview with GhanaWeb Sports Editor Daniel Oduro.

“The journey started a very long time ago, not as a business. I have passion for football and I used to watch Hearts of Oak a lot on Black and White TV. After every game, I will steal my dad’s socks and go to the field playing socks ball”.

“Thomas Quaye was my neighbour and he was then playing for King Harrison Babies. So he took me there one day and when we got there, there was no goalie. They were doing shootouts so I was asked to keep the post. So they will shoot and I will catch. Not knowing the team owner was watching from afar. So he came to us and said, defender go here, strikers go here, goalkeepers go here. So I was going to the defenders and he said hey my friend go and stand there (join the goalkeepers) and I said no, I want to play but he said my friend join the goalkeeper. I was crying”.

“So I went and I started the goalkeeping and I did that for four year. So one day we were going to play and he told me today go and play for the reserve keeper to be in post. I was the man of the match of that game so after the game he told me you are here to play so stay there”, Foyoo reminisced.