October 17, 1997: unforgettable

October 19, 2019

 

On this day, 17 October 1997 (Exactly 22 years ago today), Ghana’s Ike Quartey successfully defended his WBA welterweight title with a majority decision over Jose Luis Lopez at the Foxwoods Resort, Maschantucket, Connecticut, USA

Quartey was suffering from malaria when the bout took place. His team advised him to postpone the bout, but Quartey did not want to miss the opportunity. To preserve energy, he fought much of the bout with one hand. He repeatedly pumped the lead hand, setting a CompuBox record with 313 landed jabs.

In describing the fight, Quartey’s trainer Dan Odamtten stated the following:

“He fought with one hand, his left jab, for most of the fight, because I wanted him to save his strength.”

Judges Scorecard
Phillipe Verbeke 114 -114
Ricardo Duncan 116 – 112
William Hutt 113 -113

Referee: Steve Smoger

On this day 17th October 1963 (Exactly 56 years ago today) Mr Albert Owusu Ansah died in Switzerland and his body was flown to Accra. Asante Kotoko chartered a plane to convey the body to Kumasi where he was given an honourable burial befitting a great benefactor of Kotoko.

It will be recalled that together with B.K.Edusei, Albert had made it possible for Kotoko to employ Ember as coach in February 1963.

On January 18, 1963, Mr Josef Ember, then Ghana national football team coach, had his appointment terminated by the Director of Sports, Mr Ohene Djan, because, reportedly, the Central Organisation of Sports (C.O.S) could no longer pay for his services.

Mr Ember had his appointment terminated not long after he had arrived from Hungary after three month leave, and what surprised Ember was that, before he left for Hungary, Mr Ohene Djan had paid him a special tribute at a cocktail party organised by the C.O.S. for him and his wife.

Mr Ohene Djan said that Ember “is the only coach whose contract has been renewed by the C.O.S. because of his good services.” He said it was through Mr Ember’s guidance that the Black Stars made a successful soccer tour of the Eastern European countries and proved themselves the unbeaten soccer champions on the continent of Africa.”

Continuing, the Director said he hoped Mr Ember would continue to impart his good soccer knowledge to the future of Ghanaian footballers on his return from leave on April 1, to assume a new post, as Technical Adviser to the C.O.S. on football training methods.

It was the same day that C.K. Gyamfi was appointed the first Ghana national football team coach in the absence of Ember.

But the knowledgeable coach returned from Budapest only to receive the bombshell. And so the nation stood in danger of losing the adroit and most competent coach. However, the fabulous club, Asante Kotoko, came to the rescue and thus won the singular honour of being the only club in the country to employ a full-time coach.
The following day, 19 January 1963, Asante Kotoko employed Ember as its full-time coach and signed a two- year contract with him.

The sensational development followed a few hours after the news of the termination of Ember’s appointment with the Central Organisation of Sports by Mr Ohene Djan, Director of Sports, had broken out.

A statement from the club, simultaneously in Accra and in Kumasi on 20th January , said Ember’s employment had been made possible by the magnificent liberality of two Accra businessmen, Mr B.K. Edusei, a contractor, and Albert Owusu Ansah, Managing Director of a firm of Architects.

Both men, the statement said, had guaranteed the salary of Ember for the two-year contract period. Mr Edusei told the press that they had decided to employ Ember because they felt he was “very brilliant coach whose departure from Ghana would have been a rather sad loss to football.” He said they had given the coach the same terms as he received under the C.O.S.

On this day 17 October 1976 (Exactly 43 years ago today) Accra Hearts of Oak beat Kotoko 2-1 in match day 28 of the season played at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.

Malik Jabir scored for Kotoko in the 27th minute from the penalty spot. Robert Hammond scored two astonishing goals in the 43rd and 52nd minutes to give the visitors a victory which virtually won them the 1976 league title.

The loss brought a chain of reaction in Kotoko – culminating in the dismissal of key players Kuuku Dadzie, Dan Oppong and Joe Sam for allegedly receiving bribe from Hearts.

The allegations could not be proved but the three players left Kotoko. Dan Oppong and Joe Sm left the country for the US while Kuuku Dadzie signed for Hasaacas.

Kotoko overhauled their team and brought in young players like Kwadwo Addae Kyenkyenhene and Owusu ‘Ember’ Sekyere.

On this day 17 October 1984 (Exactly 35 years ago today) Accra Hearts of Oak beat Real Tamale United by a lone goal in Accra on the final day of the 1984 Ghana league to win the League title, thanks to Emmanuel Botchway’s 53rd minute strike.

On this days 17 October 1964 (Exactly 55 years ago today) Australian athlete Betty Cuthbert won her 4th career Olympic gold medal after she won the women’s 400m at the Tokyo Games in Olympic record 52.0

On this day 17 October 1964(Exactly 55 years ago) US swimmers finished 1-2-3 in the women’s 400m individual medley at the Tokyo Olympics; Donna de Varona won gold in Olympic record 5:18.7 ahead of team mates Sharon Finneran and Martha Randall

On this day 17 October 1968 (Exactly 51 years ago) US men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay team of Zac Zorn, Stephen Rerych, Ken Walsh & Mark Spitz swam world record 3:31.7 to outclass the Soviet Union & Australia and won the gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics.

 

STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH


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