Ghanaian football legend, Charles Kumi Gyamfi (C.K. Gyamfi), was be laid in state at the forecourt of the State House in Accra on Friday.
The state burial service marked the start of the final funeral rites of the 85 year old, who died on September 2, 2015 at the Cocoa Clinic in Accra.
The scheduled funeral rites include a memorial service which will take place tomorrow at the Okorase Methodist School Park at 10 a.m.
The memorial service will be followed by a thanksgiving service at the Rev. Joseph Clegg Memorial Methodist Church in Kaneshie, Accra, on Sunday.
Nana Kumi Gyamfi I was the Guantoahene of the Benkum Division of the Akuapim Traditional Area.
He played for three of the most glamorous club sides in Ghana – Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs (1948-49), Asante Kotoko (1949 to 1954) and Accra Hearts of Oak ((1956-1960).
A GFA statement reads in part: “He was responsible for bringing finesse to Ghana football with his unique coaching methods; one of the most important landmarks in the history of the game in the country. We always held him in great esteem and admired his extraordinary character.”
“He worked tenaciously for Ghana football and even in his old age, he did not shy away from offering his wisdom for the development of the game in the country.”
“What we will remember most of all, will be his great sense of commitment, his courage and his desire to safeguard Ghana football and its values for future generations as well as his golden words of wisdom.”
A MAN OF MANY SKILLS
CK also captained the Black Stars and went on to become Ghana’s most successful national team coach, leading the Black Stars to the Cup of Nations (AFCON) title on three occasions in 1963, 1965 and 1982.
For his outstanding contributions to football, he was honoured with the Order of the Volta (Civil Division), as well as the African Merit Order of Achievement Award.
Nana Gyamfi was survived by a wife, Mrs Valerie Quartey Gyamfi, a former national tennis player, and eight sons.
Several top officials including football administrators, politicians, academia, family and friends paid their last respect to the legendary Ghanaian coach at the Banquet Hall, State House.
Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi and his retinue, including George Afriyie, former Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah as well as a horde of ex-footballers were there.
Former Ghana chairmen Dr Nyaho Tamakloe and Nana Sam Brew Butler as well as ex-sports minister Enoch Teye Mensah, Accra Mayor Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuiye and legend Mohammed Polo were some of the top dignitaries at the event.
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Story by Ghana/Joy Sports/Gary Al-Smith