The family of the late Sam Arday Tuesday paid separate courtesy calls on former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor to inform them about the funeral arrangements for the former national football coach slated for April 7 at the State House in Accra.
The first port of call for the delegation led by James Quarcoo and including a brother, sisters and the son of the late coach was the residence of former President Kufuor in Accra where they briefed him about the ill-health of coach Arday and his subsequent passing on February 12, 2017.
“Around the third of April, he was taken ill and we rushed him to Korle Bu where he spent about nine days. Unfortunately on the 11th of February, he passed on to glory,” the spokesperson of the delegation, Ernest Arday narrated after they were received by former President Kufuor and his aide Mr Frank Agyekum.
He added, “As tradition demands, it is very important that we come and inform you because as we know you had a special relationship with him.”
The funeral rites of the late coach would be held on April 7 at the forecourt of the State House, preceding his burial at the Osu Cemetery in Accra, according to the family.
President Kufuor said he was stunned when he received the news that coach Arday had passed on, describing his loss as a blow to the nation.
After the meeting with President Kufuor, the delegation moved to the Ridge residence of former President Rawlings on a similar mission.
President Jerry Rawlings with the late Sam Arday’s family
The former President eulogised the late Arday, praising him for his disciplined lifestyle on-and-off the football pitch.
The delegation that visited the two former presidents included James Quarcoo (the leader), brothers Ernest Arday and Godwin Koppoe, Sam Hemans Arday (son) and sisters Grace Bird, Mary Arday Kotei and Comfort Arday Antwi as well as a family friend Larry Opare Otoo.
Coach Arday, known as the “multi- system man” was the Technical Director of Ghana Premier League side West Africa Football Academy until his demise.
He was the coach of Ghana’s Olympic Bronze Soccer Medal winning team at Barcelona ’92, a feat which made Ghana the first African country to win an Olympic medal in football.
He then became head coach of the Ghana national Under-17 football team, the Black Starlets, who won the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship Trophy in Ecuador and the African Under-17 Championship in Mali.
He also coached the Ghana national Under-20 football team and various club sides including Ashgold, Asante Kotoko, Feyenoord.
He was coach of the Black Stars on two occasions – from 1996 to 1997, and again in 2004.
The late Sam Arday was survived by two children – Florence Arday and Sam Hemans Arday.