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Happy Birthday Accra Hearts of Oak SC - Established 11-11-11

Founded 11 November 1911 Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club are Ghana’s oldest exisiting football club. The club motto is ‘Never say Die’ and the official club website has these profound words to say on the matter ..

"The motto “NEVER SAY DIE” reflects the art, science and reality that the Oak tree is very strong and tough in the forest and thus able to survive all kinds of weather conditions. Yes, as a human institution, the founding fathers were very much aware that there would be good and bad times at one stage or the other due to mortal failures, shortcomings and differences in opinion. They however never compromised on the spirit of love and unity that bonded them together to be able to ride the storms of life."

Arthur Wharton - Footballing Royalty

Arthur Wharton the first professional black footballerOn Tuesday 29th March England will play Ghana at Wembley in the first meeting between the two countries. The game will  honour the memory and achievements of Arthur Wharton, the World’s first black professional footballer.

Wharton was born 1865 in Jamestown, Gold Coast, current day Ghana. His father was a Methodist priest from Grenada and his mother was a member of the Fante royal house. In 1882 he left for England to train as a missionary and it was whilst at college in Darlington that his talent for sports shone through. He soon gave up his studies to become a full-time athlete.

He was a very talented individual indeed, in 1886 he became the first man to run the 100 yards dash in ten seconds and in 1887 set the fastest time for cycling between Preston and Blackburn. But it was in football that he was to make his name. 

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Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana’s Black Stars

Great video with some vintage footage about the rise of Ghanaian football following independence in 1957 and the pivotal role played by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Did you know that the Ghana national football team’s nickname, the Black Stars, is a nod towards Marcus Garvey and the shipping line he founded in the early 1900s.

Read more on this fascinating episode of African history ..

The Kwame Nkrumah Gold Cup - West African Football Competition



Here we have a Ghanaian stamp issued to commemorate a wonderfully obscure West African international football tournament called the Nkrumah Cup. The tournament was named after Kwame Nkrumah, the great African leader who led Ghana to independence in 1957.
The Nkrumah Cup was the successor tournament to the Jalco Cup which had been played for between Nigeria and Ghana throughout the fifties. Oddly the last edition of  the Jalco Cup played on 22nd November 1959 was played after Nigeria had begun the qualifying tournament for the inaugural Nkrumah Cup competition with a match against Dahomey (now Benin) on the 8th November.
Nigeria won their qualifying round 11-1 on aggregate to qualify for the final in Lagos which was not played until October 1960. There they met Ghana who won 3-0. It is not known who Ghana played to qualify for the final.
The next tournament was held in 1963 with Nigeria, Cameroon, Dahomey, Ghana , Senegal & Mali taking part. The semi-finals, 3rd place match and final were all held in Ghana with the hosts again lifting the trophy with a 4-0 win over Mali in the final held in Accra.
The tournament then ended and wasn’t played for again though the matches between Nigeria and Ghana continued with the Azikwe Cup which was held three times between 1965 and 1967.
Jalco Cup | Nkrumah Cup | Azikwe Cup

The Kwame Nkrumah Gold Cup - West African Football Competition


Here we have a Ghanaian stamp issued to commemorate a wonderfully obscure West African international football tournament called the Nkrumah Cup. The tournament was named after Kwame Nkrumah, the great African leader who led Ghana to independence in 1957.

The Nkrumah Cup was the successor tournament to the Jalco Cup which had been played for between Nigeria and Ghana throughout the fifties. Oddly the last edition of  the Jalco Cup played on 22nd November 1959 was played after Nigeria had begun the qualifying tournament for the inaugural Nkrumah Cup competition with a match against Dahomey (now Benin) on the 8th November.

Nigeria won their qualifying round 11-1 on aggregate to qualify for the final in Lagos which was not played until October 1960. There they met Ghana who won 3-0. It is not known who Ghana played to qualify for the final.

The next tournament was held in 1963 with Nigeria, Cameroon, Dahomey, Ghana , Senegal & Mali taking part. The semi-finals, 3rd place match and final were all held in Ghana with the hosts again lifting the trophy with a 4-0 win over Mali in the final held in Accra.

The tournament then ended and wasn’t played for again though the matches between Nigeria and Ghana continued with the Azikwe Cup which was held three times between 1965 and 1967.

Ghana 1959 - West Africa map Ghana 1959 - Goalkeeper saving ball Ghana 1959 - Forward attacking goal