By Ken Bediako
At 81 I am gratefully past the Biblical three score and ten. You can say I am enjoying extra time awaiting the referees final whistle. I have been in sports journalism since 1961 when I was 20 years old in fact a young colleague told me right in the face in an argument the other day that my time is past.
I have since been a bit nervous in commenting openly on sporting issues of late but I must confess I have taken a lot of inspiration from two of my former bosses at the Daily Graphic. Cameron Duodu and Elizabeth Ohene who are writing profusely in the Daily Guide and the Daily Graphic and I am hereby lifting the self-imposed ban on writing on sports.
My young affable friend Awudu Mahama believes there is still enough ink in my pen and I have to emulate the shining example of my former Editors Cameron and Lizzy affectionately called Grandma by a select few. So, ladies and gentlemen the veteran sports writer is back on the block.
I recall in 1964 when the immortal Peter Wilson of the Daily Mirror of London dubbed the world’s number one sports writer was in Ghana in May 1964 to cover the controversial world featherweight boxing title fight between Local idol Floyd Robertson and Sugar Ramos the Cuban born Mexican at Accra Stadium.
Floyd Klutei Robertson fought a fight of his fighting life and clearly won the fight. But all the three the foreign judges made Ramos the winner to the astonishment of the packed stadium. Peter Wilson in his report said the judgment did not make sense. In coming out with his verdict he tabulated authoritatively as a writer who had watched numerous world titles in the various weight divisions and Olympic boxing finals dating back to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He provided enough evidence to prove he knew what he was talking about obviously for the sake of the youngsters.
Since I have been out of circulation for a long time it may be necessary for a small introduction for the sake of those of the computer age. I started as a trainee sports writer at the Daily Graphic in 1961 under the tutelage of veterans like Kodzo Dumoga, Isaac Eshun, Martin Therson Cofie and Addo Twum rising to become Sports Editor in 1972.
I covered numerous international sporting events both at home and abroad AFCON 63 at home Sudan 1970 and Libya 82. Two Olympic Games Munich 1972 Montreal 1976 and two other Olympics Seoul 88 and Barcelona 92 as press attaché. Was member Black Stars Management committee 1991-93, DK Poisons World title fight in Los Angeles 1975, Ex officio Asante Kotoko management that won Africa Cup in 1983.
In sum I have a fair knowledge of Ghana sports and football in particular that enabled me to write the complete history of The National League (1958-2012) published in 2013. It looks like a Sankofa season with the fabulous Ronaldo returning to Man U after 12 years departure and Milovan returning to handle the Black Stars after 13 years departure. So I am back to sports writing after a long spell.
I hope I am welcome by the sporting fraternity.