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13 years after Nkrumah said “Ghana our beloved country is free forever”, he watched his first-ever Hearts of Oak match at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The opponent on the day remains unknown but whatever he saw was enough for him to start a mission that has span five decades.
In the last fifty years, a lot has happened to Accra Hearts of Oak. Players, board, management have come and gone. Good and bad results have been chalked but one thing has remained constant, an unknown physically challenged man has not a missed a single home game.
He has witnessed their best moments at the Accra Sports Stadium, which is led by the 2000 CAF Champions League conquest and of course their worst moments.
In the last decade where the club has struggled and failed to win a single trophy, he has remained steadfast with his support.
He definitely was not in Sogakope when the Phobians were mauled by 5-0 by WAFA but that did not deter him from watching their next home game against Bolga All Stars.
It’s that innate love and deep affection for Ghana’s oldest existing club that makes him shelve his ‘begging’ job on Sundays and sometimes Wednesdays afternoons to wheel himself to the Accra Sports Stadium, a venue that is not friendly to people with his condition.
His unalloyed love for Hearts had seen no reward until new boy Emmanuel Nettey noticed him in their 2-1 defeat to bitter rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
For a fan, the result must have been painful but the respite was that his fifty-year demonstration of unwavering support to the club was recognized by a player who has spent less than three months with the team.
He promised him a brand new autographed jersey and he delivered on Wednesday, February 6, 2020.
He is Ataa Abbey Odenke, a physically challenged Hearts of Oak fan who claims he has not missed a single home game in fifty years.
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