GAF honour 1972 Olympic medallist Prince Amartey …open mini-mart for him

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has come to aid of boxing-hero-turned destitute, Ex-Lance Corporal Prince Amartey, by setting up a mini-mart for him at the 66 Artillery Regiment at the Volta Barracks in Ho. 

The shop, well stocked with various items, was formally handed over to the ailing pugilist by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Seth Amoama at the barracks on Thursday amid pomp and pageantry. 

This follows almost 30 years of persistent campaign by the Ghanaian Times to highlight the plight of Amartey who won the bronze for Ghana in the middleweight division at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, and also seek support for him. 

Vice Admiral Amoama described Amartey as an astute and patriotic boxer who put his life on the line to raise the flag of Ghana to astonishing heights. 

He said that Amartey, who also won several medals for Ghana at various international tournaments, definitely deserved support from the GAF and the country in his present condition. 

Amartey, who has been sleeping in darkness for years due to his inability to pay for electricity, still cherishes a dream to study music in the university. 

A few sympathisers visited him in the slums of Ho-Hliha in recent time to make token donations to him. 

Amartey suffered a stroke and became incapacitated a few months ago. 

Vice Admiral Amoama explained the Amartey did not benefit from any pension plan from the GAF because he did not serve the required 18 years. 

However, he said, Amartey proved his gallantry and made heroic sacrifices in the ring for the army and also for his country. 

According to the CDS, the shop, named Amartey Mini-Mart was located at the barracks to guarantee its security. 

“The proceeds from the shop are meant to support the welfare of Amartey,” he added. 

Vice Admiral Amoama gave the assurance that the GAF would always honour its personnel who made sacrifices and distinguished themselves in their course of duty. 

Major Amarkai Amartefio (Rtd) Secretary for Youth and Sports during the PNDC era, said that Amartey was a national hero, adding that it took 50 years for another Ghanaian boxer, Samuel Takyi to win a similar medal for Ghana at the Tokyo Olympics. 

He described Amartey as a personal friend and a sportsman of great discipline. 

Major Amartefio commended the Ghanaian Times for not relenting in its efforts to seek support for Amartey over the past three decades. 

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Sarpong Appiah, Commanding Officer of the 66 Artillery Regiment, entreated Amartey’s family to ensure that the shop was managed diligently to benefit Amartey to the fullest degree. 

Expressing gratitude to the GAF for the support, an elated Amartey said: “I am happy, I feel alright and I want to say thank you, thank you and thank you.” 

Among the crowd was 82-year-old former Black Stars goalkeeper, John Naawu. 

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