Ghana football has been hit again by another tragic loss following the death of Coach Sam Hemans-Arday, one of the nation’s astute technical brains and successful national team coaches. He was 71.
His death was confirmed to the Graphic Sports yesterday by his son Sam Hemans-Arday Jnr, who said his father died yesterday at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.
Coach Arday was one of the few coaches to have handled all the male national teams, led the Black Meteors, national Under-23 side to win bronze at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He had before then, led the Under-20 side, the Black Satellites to finish third at the 1991 African Youth Championships in Egypt.
Three years later, he also led the national Under-17 side, Black Starlets to win the 1995 FIFA Under-17 Championship in Ecuador.
He was one of the scouts for the Black Stars during their 2017 campaign at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon and the Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Technical Committee.
His sudden demise adds up to the sad loss of almost all the veteran coaches who had played significant roles in the development and progress of Ghana football, following after the demise of Jones Attuquayefio, Nana Kumi Gyamfi, Ben Koufie (all of whom have been buried), as well as Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie and Fred Osam-Duodu (whose burial and funeral rites will take place next week and next month respectively).
Though a police officer, he dedicated his life to his passion, football and coached all the top clubs in Ghana – Asante Kotoko, Accra Hearts of Oak, Accra Great Olympics and Okwawhu United and was instrumental in the setting up of the Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord Academy, now known as West Africa Football Academy (WAFA)in the Ghana Premier League (GPL). He was the technical director until his death.
WAFA officials who led the team to their GPL game at Medeama in Tarkwa, upon hearing the death, tweeted: Sad news and it is so hard to believe and take in. We are on the battle field and just been informed that our commander-in chief has suddenly passed on. Rest in peace, Coach Sam Arday. You will forever be remembered.
The football fratenity were shocked for words and most people contacted, expressed disbelief about Coach Arday’s death as they had not heard of his being ill.