Former Asante Kotoko Team Manager who doubled as masseur to the players in the 60s, Alhaji Yahaya Djibril broke down in tears in the studio of Fox FM during an exclusive interview, where he heaped loads of praises on the late Life Patron of Asante Kotoko, Benjamin Kyem (B.K) Edusei.
Alhaji Yahaya worked for Asante Kotoko as Team Manager between 1963 and and 1975 during the administration of the exceptional patron B.K Edusei, and has revealed how the late football administrator managed the Porcupine Warriors in his days, to the point of financing a trip of 30-man contingent of the club to Britain for four friendly matches with his own money.
Asante Kotoko won its first Champions League trophy under B.K Edusei in 1970 with the final played in January 1971, and Alhaji Jibril, broke down in tears in recalling the heroics of the great football administrator, as well as some great figures who left indelible marks in the history books of Asante Kotoko and are now of blessed memory.
“I’ve remembered some colleagues and friends of mine”, Alhaji Yahaya began in the interview with Fox FM, looking emotionally broken as he pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe down the tears already flowing down the cheeks.
“The late Robert Mensah (former Kotoko goalkeeper), the late Bobie Ansah, the late W. O. 1 Ohene Brenya, the late Clifford Odame, the late Aggrey Fynn and Ben Koffie together with Joe Lartey, Adarkwah at the same time – I’m sad”, he mourned with a trembling voice as the able host, Rockson Adjei Yeboah comforts him live on air.
The late B. K. Edusei as a Chairman and patron for Kotoko, signed big players for the club that ensured their dominance in CAF inter club competitions, notable among these players were the late goalkeeper, Robert Ansah who he signed from Cape Coast based Ebusua Dwarfs, and the then star and face of arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak, Osei Kofi (now a Reverend minister). Alhaji Jibril recalls how B.K masterminded the poaching of Osei Kofi from Hearts of Oak.
“It was B. Edusei who captured Osei Kofi from Hearts to Kotoko”, he started. “At that time Osei Kofi was a life wire for Hearts of Oak, and at the same time Osei Kofi’s father was a driver for B. K Edusei (as employee in his Construction firm), he then told him, your son plays for Hearts and you are my employee so let your son come to play for Kotoko. It was that time that Osei Kofi came to Kotoko, it was difficult because Osei Kofi was a life wire for Hearts of Oak. We were here (in Kumasi) and they told us Osei Kofi was coming, it was Wilberforce Mfum (then captain for Kotoko) who went to meet Osei Kofi, so he came to Mfum’s room, I was there in the room to see him, so as for B. K Edusei let’s all pray for him to have a better resting place”, he concluded.
According to Alhaji Jibril, the late B. K Edusei, a then building contractor by profession, single handedly recruited players for Asante Kotoko, and was the patron who signed former Black Stars and Nigeria’s Super Green Eagles Hungarian coach, József Ember for Kotoko, after the Hungarian had finished his contract with the Ghana national team and decided not to renew. B.K enticed players with cars and other incentives that made their love for and commitment for the club even greater.
Alhaji recalled how the late B. K single handedly financed Kotoko to DR Congo in 1971 to play against TP Englebert in the second leg of the CAF Champions League, after the GFA failed to assist the club, citing outbreak of disease in Kinshasha.
Concluding, Alhaji Yahaya Jibril appealed to all fans of Kotoko to contribute their monies into the newly founded B.K Edusei Memorial Foundation, which is aimed at providing financial support for old Asante Kotoko players who are living in difficulties.