The mortal remains of the late former national star, soccer administrator and former Black Stars coach, Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, will be laid in state at the Forecourt of the Banquet Hall, State House this morning for final funeral rites to be performed before his Interment at the Awudome Cemetery.
Last night, a solemn wake-keeping was held at the Saint Joseph Anglican Church at Abossey Okai. In attendance were hundreds of Ghanaians from all walks of life including past and present footballers, coaches, soccer administrators and sympathisers who were on hand to pay their last respects to the illustrious statesman.
The late Attuquayefio, a celebrated soccer tactician and arguably one of Ghana’s most prominent soccer coaches, died on May 10 this year after a long protracted ailment at the age of 70 years.
Paa Asmara, as he was affectionately called by his peers, will be fondly remembered for his extraordinary coaching exploits in his heyday when he led Accra Hearts of Oak to conquer Africa in the year 2000, the CAF Super Cup in 2001 and the virgin CAF Confederation Cup in 2004, as well as several domestic trophies.
The celebrated soccer icon was a man of many parts; he rose through the ranks at the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to the position of Vice Chairman of the Association between 1982 and 1984 before returning to be the Deputy General Secretary of the same association between 1995 and 1997.
The late Attuquayefio was decorated with many awards including Member of the Order of Volta (Civil Division Ghana) in 1973, African Coach of the Year for 2000 for leading Hearts to win their first continental trophy, SWAG Coach of the Year award for 2001 as well as the Nana Kumi Gyamfi Best Coach Award for guiding Hearts to win the league for the fifth time on the trot at the “Star/GFA Gala Awards Night, 2001.”
He had coaching stints with the national Under-17 side the Black Starlets, the U-23 team the Black Meteors, Stade Abidjan of Cote d’ Ivoire, and led the Squirrels of Benin to their first-ever African Nations Cup appearance in Tunisia in 2004 as well as premier league clubs such as AshantiGold SC, Accra Great Olympics and Liberty Professionals and Okwawu United.
By Raymond Ackumey