By Dr. Isaac Billy Annan (Kuuku Annan)
The history of Kumasi Asante
Kotoko states that an Ashanti, from Nyankyerenease, near Kwadaso, a
suburb of Kumasi, found his way to Accra in the early 1920's only to
become a chauffeur to a Colonel Ross, an English soldier, in those
His name was Kwasi Kumah. Soccer historians give
Kwasi Kumah credit for having returned from Accra to begin the
formation of his first football club named Ashanti United in 1924,
which was later renamed Kumasi Titanics. Out of that lineage KUMASI
ASANTE ASANTE KOTOKO FOOTBALL CLUB was subsequently founded in 1935.
Consequently, Otumfuo Nana Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, Asantehene
(1931-1970), became the first Life/Chief Patron of the Club.
Certainly Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko has done more to put Ghana's
name in the soccer records than any other Ghanaian club. Arguably,
Asante Kotoko FC has over the years been recognized as the peerless
pioneers for its contributions to the development and popularity of
the game in Africa as a whole. For instance, during Asante Kotoko's
first tour of Europe in the late1960's, the team helped immensely to
introduce Ghanaian and African soccer to the rest of the world
through the individual brilliance of the players, the quality of
soccer and the excellent organization demonstrated by the club s
management. Thus, in the annals of soccer in Ghana and Africa,
Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko is the true: "primus inter pares".
Indeed the former Director of Sports in Ghana, Mr. Ohene Djan, aptly
described Asante Kotoko FC as: "...The club over whose popularity
the sun will never set".
It is worth noting that Asante Kotoko's numerous achievements did
not happen by accident. Since the club was placed under the custody
and trusteeship of the then Asantehene Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang
Prempeh II, his successors: Asantehene Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, and
the current incumbent Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II have provided
worthy ownership, leadership and guidance to the team. Thus, the
Asantehenes have been crucial anchors of peace and stability for the
team in era where many teams have experienced turmoil in leadership,
and several other teams are now defunct, as a result of leadership
crises. Over the years, the club has had the honor and privilege to
be guided by several patrons, executive chairmen, directors and
other administrators, who are visionaries in soccer philosophies and
artistry; and have shown dedicated to the cause and progress of the
Among the most distinguished soccer leaders who have graced the helm
of Asante Kotoko's affairs include Mr. L.Y. Asamoah, Mr. Charles de
Graft Dickson, Mr. J.D. Amoah, Teacher Frimpong, Oheneba Nana Osei
Yaw, Mr. B.K. Edusei, Mr. Albert Owusu-Ansah, 'Uncle' John Aidoo,
Mr. Yaw Frimpong (alias YF ), Nana Darko Kufour, Dr. Kofi Dzane-Selby,
Nana Kwaku Mensah, Nana Baffour Awuah V (the late Bantamahene), Mr.
S.K. Mainoo, Mr. Daniel Kyei, Mr. Issam John Moukarzel, Dr. J.K.
Brobbey-Kyei, Mr. F.D. Nsiah-Asare aka Nana Gyamaning Asare (the
late chief of Kumasi, Asafo), Mr. Simms Kofi Mensah, Mr. Ernest Yaw
Bawuah, Mr. D.K. Ofori Nuako (alias Pao ), Mr. J.A. Kufour, Nana
Akosa Yiadom, Dr. J.K Kankam, Professor S.K. Awuah, Mr. Herbert
Mensah, Mr. P.V. Obeng, Mr. S.S. Appiah, Mr. Assad Mallah, Mr. Frank
Apeagyei, Mr. Osei Yaw Akoto, Mr. E.K. Adu, Mr. George Aduse-Poku (aka
Georgido), Nana Yaw Owusu, and Mr. Aboagye Agyei, among numerous
Kotoko has also had the good fortune of being able to count on great
benefactors and philanthropists who did not serve on the club s
Management or Board of Directors, but contributed immense financial
and material support. They include Nana Baffour Akoto, Mr. Krobo
Edusei (a Minister of State in the First Republic Government of
Ghana), and his wife Mrs. Mary Edusei (nee Mary Akuamoah), Mr. B.M.
Kufour, Mr. Martin Appiah-Danquah, Mr. Peter Mainoo-Appiah, Mr.
Desmond, Mr. Simone Naja David, and current ones like Mr. Osei Kwame
(aka 'Despite'), Mr. Kwabena Kesse (aka 'Kessben'), and Mr. Kennedy
Adjapong (aka 'Kenpong'), just to name a few.
The immense success of the team has also depended on several
distinguished technical handlers notably Mr. Josef Ember, Mr. Lajos
Kontha, Mr. Amonoo-Neizer, Mr. Ben Kuofie, Mr. C.K. Gyamfi, Mr. E.J.
Aggrey-Fynn, Mr. Thomasz Kertesz, Mr. Asebi Boakye, Rev. Mr. Osei
Kofi, Mr. Malik Jabir, Mr. Ibrahim Sunday, Mr. E.K. Afranie, Mr. Ron
Heckman, Mr. Burkhardt Ziese, Mr. Ernst Middendorp, Mr. Ian
Porterfield, Mr. Ralph Zumdick, Alhaji Yahaya Gibrine, Mr. Augustine
Omono Asamoah, Mr. Awudu Nuhu, and other excellent soccer tacticians
and trainers, including the current incumbent coach Mr. Hans Walter
Throughout its history, the club has been graced by the presence of
distinguished players who match up gamely as among the very best in
soccer worldwide. In fact, the long list of Asante Kotoko players
chronicles in the 'who-is-who' in the game globally. Against all
odds and criticisms, Asante Kotoko exhibited tremendous foresight
pioneered the practice of annual player transfer for fees in Ghana
to augment their existing crop of players - a phenomenon that is a
now common practice in professional soccer globally. In fact, those
who lacked the foresight, and criticized Asante Kotoko in the past
(for its pioneering spirits), have now embraced the practice of
players transfers as if it were their own how times change! Numerous
players who have graced the famous red jerseys of the team are
recognized worldwide as extraordinary players who could/can compete
in any soccer league in the world.
Indeed, over thirty years ago Osei Kofi a product of Asante Kotoko
soccer excellence was offered a transfer fee of over thirty-thousand
(30,000) U.K. pounds, an amount that was among the highest for any
player in that era and would (even by conservative estimates), be in
the millions in present value. Indeed Osei Kofi is recognized in
soccer circles as arguably the best African soccer player of all
time, and certainly the best ever produced by Ghana. Apart from Osei
Kofi, the list of other illustrious Asante Kotoko players is
certainly an exhaustive one, including outstanding ones like (but
not limited to): James Adjei, C.K. Gyamfi, Baba Yara, Kwaku Duah
'Jasper', Kwao Baffoe, Kwame Adarkwa, Wilberforce Kwadwo Mfum,
Mohammed Salisu, Robert Mensah, Albert Essuman, Ibrahim Sunday,
Jabir Malik, Dan Oppong, Joe Sam, James Kuuku Dadzie, Abdul Razak,
Opoku Afriyie, Opoku Nti, Papa Arko, Albert Asase, Addae Kyenkyehene,
Francis Kumi, Kwasi Appiah, Frimpong Mansoh and Joe Debrah, to
mention just a few.
Over the years several other players have been produced by and
graduated from Asante Kotoko the proverbial Soccer University of
Ghana and Africa. Many of those players moved on to lucrative and
successful professional careers throughout the world; others have
moved on to become world class soccer coaches, team managers and
trainers; and yet others have proceeded to successful careers in
business, academia and other professions. In fact, the list of
Asante Kotoko's outstanding players is too long to list in these
pages, and would be therefore deferred to a separate publication
dedicated to that subject alone.
Asante Kotoko boasts of the largest fan support in Ghana, and one of
the clubs with the largest army of supporters in Africa, and dare we
say the world. The true fans around the world who know anything
about club soccer in Africa obviously know more about KUMASI ASANTE
KOTOKO than any other African club. Undeniably, the success of the
club hinges on its army of followers ranging from the fanatical
brand to the genuine sympathizers, as well as their leaders and
Over the years, several dedicated and indefatigable leaders of
Asante Kotoko supporters unions and Circles Committees have included
Opanin Siabour, Opanin Kwasi Dampranie of Agona Swedru, Opanin Kyei
of Kumasi Tafo, Madam Felicia Agyeiwaah, Madam Helena Cobbinah,
Kotooro, Kwabena Amoah, and Mr. Fredua Agyemang, Mr. Hope Anderson
Agbolosoo, Mr. Agyemang Prempeh, to the present-day Kotoko loyalists
including Lydia Nuamah, Umar Abdullai, Honorable Abilele, Adusei,
Ali Maradona, Cecilia Adu-Poku, Prince Addai, Turboman and numerous
others; and indeed, ALL the great supporters, who I affectionately
refer to as the 'Teeming Red Army of the Faithfuls', ranging from
the young and spanning the very young, the middle aged, to the old
and the very old; of both past and present generations.
Staffers at the Kotoko Secretariat have also been very influential
and key in keeping the administrative aspects of the club running
smoothly. Sincere thanks go to gallant but unsung heroes like Mr.
Achulo, Mr. A.K. Nyantakyi, Mr. James Dampranie, Mr. Yahaya Gibrine,
Mr. Awudu Seidu (chauffeur), the late Mr. Osei Kofi aka 'Osei
Driver' and Mr. Emmanuel Owusu.
These are but very few facts that underline Asante Kotoko's
supremacy in Ghanaian and African soccer, and gives credence to the
status of Kumasi Asante Kotoko as the most Fabulous Club of Ghana
and Africa, and dare we say - the world. The history and
achievements of Asante Kotoko the club has elevated its place in
society beyond the world of soccer. The club is a symbol of
pioneering spirit of its leaders, and an emblem of what is best and
excellent in Ghana and Africa. Simply put, Asante Kotoko is a great
institution, a phenomenon!
Over the years, the various management teams of Asante Kotoko have
always recognized the indefatigable supporters of the club as the
backbone of its progress and glories. Nevertheless, the challenges
are been many and tough. Therefore, in the efforts to restore the
club to its deserved glories the true supporters and teeming
followers of the club must join in the "journey to victory", with
the express support of the Life Patron, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
This is all for the cause of Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC. Now
is the time! Let the Porcupine Warriors arise and shine! Asante
Kotoko will prevail and succeed!
Fabulous, The Best!
Fabulous, The Greatest!!