Ex Ghana captain Stephen Appiah announces retirement

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Stephen Appiah has retired from active football after a career that

spanned over two decades.

Appiah’s career had several highlights from his start at Accra Hearts

of Oak to the glamour of Turin and Istanbul where he featured for

Juventus and Fenerbahce.

Appiah also captained Ghana to it’s maiden World Cup appearance in

2006 and was also part of the historic march to the quarter finals of

the same tournament four years later.

Below is the full statement issued by Stephen Appiah.

Dear Sir,

For Immediate Release: 14th January, 2015: Stephen Appiah retires from football

After two decades and over of what has been an illustrious

professional football career I formally announce with deep nostalgia

my retirement from football.

I wish this day never came because football was life- my life. It made me whole.

From the sandy pitches at Indadfa park in Accra where my career was

honed to the grassy green field in Turin, Italy where my career

blossomed, i tell with profound humility a great true story of a

Ghanaian patriot who with nothing, from nothing, rose to become a

global icon thanks to the power of football.

I retire today with a great measure of fulfillment not just because i

bowed out high as captain of the Black Stars but because i bowed out

serving my country with honour and selfless dedication in what was, is

and will always be the most important sport or activity in Ghana.

To this day, one of my proudest achievements in my career is playing

and captaining my country. Every time I wore the most inspiring jersey

in the world ‘Black Stars shirt’, I realized how fortunate I was not

to only follow in a long line of great players that have played for

Ghana but also the joy of representing every Ghanaian that cared

passionately about their country. I’m honoured to represent Ghana both

on and off the pitch.

In my service, I made mistakes. I probably stepped on some foots; I

definitely annoyed others and broke many Ghanaian hearts for not

winning a trophy in my tenure even though we came too close many


And whilst under my tenure we achieved the single most important dream

of qualifying Ghana to the World Cup in Germany 2006, we also

shattered many Ghanaian hopes of reaching the semi-final, the first by

an African country in our second attempt at the World Cup in South

Africa 2010.

Africa was down. Ghana was down. And we the players were down too. I

remember that episode with a great deal of pain but for a game that

holds no certainty one can only grieve in silence and move on. We

moved on.

My journey to the top echelons of Ghana’s football was not always a

bed of roses. It couldn’t have. I remember, as if it were yesterday,

the days at the ‘lavender Hill’ when i had to train in the sandy

beaches of Korle-gonno, a not too fragrant environment.

Those were the days when i had to juggle between going to training and

still think about what to eat after training.

I remember my days with Accra Hearts of Oak and how my commitment to

the game opened a great door of opportunity for me at Starlets 95. I

grabbed that opportunity and the rest they say is history.

My career has sent me to many places; brought me closer to many people

and i have a dozen more to thank and be grateful to for their immense

contribution in my life.

As I close the chapter on my playing career, I want to thank God for

how far He has brought me. Thank my family for the support they gave

me, thank all my team-mates both Ghanaians and other nationals, thank

the great and intelligent managers that I had the pleasure of learning

from and most importantly the numerous fans that cared passionately

about me, their teams and their country and also supported me and

given me the strength to succeed.

Nothing can ever completely replace playing football. However I’m

genuinely excited about what lies ahead. I am still open to

possibilities with whatever football has to offer from now till when

my maker decides to call me.

Credit: Allsports.com.gh

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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