Veteran Sports Journalist Ken Bediako-The Writer

By Ken Bediako

For the first time Ghana qualified for the football division of the Olympic Games and the Black Stars were at the Tokyo Olympics alongside the usual athletics and boxing squads.

Once again boxing produced the hero of the Ghana squad when Eddie Blay won bronze in the Lightwelterweight division. He reached the semi-finals after three straight victories before failing to move further.

Blay was outpointed in the semi-final by Jerzy Kuley of Poland in an exciting contest.

It was quite close but Blay lost the verdict probably because of the knock down he suffered in the second round.

In the preliminaries Eddie Blay outpointed Ruddy Scharling of Denmark, knocked out Cambodian southpaw Nol Touch in 1min 34 secs in the second round and outclassed da Silva of Brazil to enter the medal zone.

Two boxers, light middleweight Eddie Davies and middleweight Joe Darkey reached the quarter finals.

Eddie Davies survived a first round knockdown by Hungarian Laszlo Sebok to win the first fight on points. In the second fight he clearly outpointed American Tom Gribson to reach the quarter-finals but had to pull out at that stage on medical grounds. It was detected that he had a detached retina in his left eye.

Middleweight Joe Darkey, who drew a bye in the preliminaries, outpointed American southpaw Jein Rosette to reach the quarter finals but he was beaten at that stage by Popenchenko of the Soviet Union.

Bantamweight Cassis Aryee and flyweight Sulley Shittu made impressive openings but faded out in their second outings Cassis Aryee knocked out Thein Myint of Denmark in the second round and Sulley Shittu scored a first round knockout over Jamaat Ibrahim of Malaysia.

Cassis was however outpointed by T. Sakuria of Japan in his next fight. Sulley was also outpointed by John Maffety of Ireland.

Light weight Sammy Amekudzi was knocked out in 1min 27secs of the first round by Karaman Shiratoni of Japan in the preliminaries.

In athletics, Ghana was represented by a squad of eight men and three women. The men were J.A. Addy, Mike Ahey, Stan Allotey, M.F Okantey, Ebenezer Quartey, E.D Amevor Sam Bugri and S.A. Brobbey.

The women were Alice Anum, Rose Hart and Christiana Boateng.

The individuals and respective results were:


1. J.A Addy 400m heats 47.2 secs: second round 47secs; semi-final 47secs

2.Mike Ahey 100m heats 10.6 secs; second

round 10.5 secs Long Jump 7th 23ft 4 in

3.Stan Allotey 100m heats 10.6 secs second round 10.7 secs

4.M.F.Okantey 200m heats 21.9secs

5.Ebenezer Quartey 400m heats 47.1secs second round 47.0 secs

6. E. D Amevor 1,500 heats(unplaced)

7.100mx4 relay heats Ahey, Allotey, Okantey, Addy 40.7secs; quarter finals 40.4 secs

8.400mx4 relay Quartey, Sam Bugri, S.A Brobbey, Addy 3mins 10.4 secs


  1. Alice Anum, long jump 5.45 metres
  2. Rose Hart 100m heats 11.9 secs: 80m hurdles heats 11.3 secs. Second round 12.1 secs
  3. 3 Christiana Boateng 100m felt ill and could not compete.

In football, the Black Stars were made up of goalkeepers Dodoo Ankrah, Addoquaye Laryea and Anue Cofie. The rear guard comprised Atta Kwame, Sam Acquah, Emmanuel Oblitey, Ben Acheampong Addo Odametey, Franklin Crentsil and Joe Adjei. Attackers  were Kofi Pare, Osei Kofi Wilberforce Mfum, Aggrey Fynn, Edward Acquah, Mohammed Salisu, Samuel Anum Okine, Emmanuel Nkansah, Agyeman Gyau, Gladstone Ofori and Frank Odoi.

The Black Stars played three matches, won one, drew one, and lost one rather heavily.

The Stars drew 1-1 with Argentina in their opening match. It was quite an exciting game.

Centre forward Caflos Bula scored first for Argentina in the 36th minute and Edward Acquah “the man with sputnik shot” replied for Ghana 10 minutes later.

The Black Stars then suddenly hit the international headlines when they sensationally beat host nation Japan in their second match in a 3-2 thriller. A defensive blunder had cost Ghana the first goal as early as the12th minute but Agyeman Gyau of Republikans fame, got the equaliser for Ghana in the 28th minute after receiving a tailor measured pass from skipper Aggrey Fynn. Half time was 1-1.

Japan went ahead again through another defensive blunder in the 53rd minute but defensive midfielder Sam Acquah, levelled up for Ghana seven minutes later with a powerful shot. Ghana then attacked in bursts after this equaliser and Bulldozer Mfum true to form, got the match winner for Ghana in the 80th minute with a typical piledriver.

With this inspirational victory the Black Stars were tipped to reach the medal zone but they flopped miserably and were mercilessly thrashed 5-1 by the United Arab Republic (UAR) now Egypt, in their quarter final match.

Mfum had put Ghana ahead in the 28th minute from a spot kick but the UAR got the equaliser just before the recess.

Then the disaster happened in the second half. On a soggy pitch, occasioned by a sudden rainfall, the Black Stars woefully failed to match the speed of the North Africans and conceded four rapid goals much to the astonishment of the thick crowd.

It was an unfortunate anti-climax to a splendid performance that had won the hearts of the football loving Japanese home crowd.

Worse still in a special non-competitive special match for a ceremonial diploma certificate, Romania beat crest fallen Ghana 4-2.

The astonishing defeat of the Black Stars in that whirlwind fashion against the UAR raised a lot of questions at home and the Ghanaian sporting media at the time put Sports Director Ohene Djan firmly on the carpet.

Sixty years after this most unexpected defeat it would be interesting if the current generation of the sports media will find out in an interview with some of the handful principal actors of that 1964 debacle what actually happened that day and take us on a really topical memory lane.

Mr “Magic Hands” Dodoo Ankrah, Wizard dribbler Osei Kofi, trenchant midfielder Kofi Pare and goal merchant Wilberforce Mfum the bulldozer, are some of the few legends luckily still alive. Let’s hear from them. I believe it should be an interesting recall. Over to you Dan Kwaku Yeboah and Co.

Cheers everybody and keep loving sports.