Ex-Ghana international Stephen Appiah is one man who is highly revered across Ghana due to his commitment to the course of football in this country.
Now the coordinator for the Black Stars of Ghana, our former captain has been a nobleman and has never made the news for the wrong reasons.
Started from Accra Hearts of Oak, Stephen Appiah played in some of the best leagues in Europe and some of the best clubs like Juventus.
His sense of fashion is one of a kind and constantly treat Instagram users with beautiful pictures. But do we really know much about Stephen Appiah?
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about him
1. Early life
Stephen Appiah was born on 24 December 1980 in Ghana, Chorkor a suburb of Accra.
He started playing football informally at a very tender age and joined the Accra Heart of Oaks Team in 1995 at the age of 15.
According to the former Juventus star, the Chorkor Kenkey sellers came to his rescue at a time when he could not afford meals after training.
After playing at the Under 17 World Cup in Egypt, he signed a transfer to the Udinese club and hence, started off his journey towards world superstardom.
2. He is nick-named ‘Tornado’
Stephen earned the nickname “Tornado” due to the fact that he is very prominent in midfield and is also very strong.
Appiah is a box-to-box midfielder who has the ability to create and score goals from all angles with his powerful shots.
3. First Ghanaian captain to qualify the Blackstars for World Cup
In 2005 Stephen Appiah became the first captain to qualify Ghana to their first ever World Cup appearance in Germany in 2006 and also led the Black Stars squad that came close to hitting a semi-final berth at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Appiah is so far, the longest-serving skipper of the Ghana squad after independence, having led the Black Stars for a period of 8 years.
4. Injuries nearly ended his career
Appiah was not really able to live his career to the fullest as a result of injuries.
He sustained severe injuries several times during his career such that at one of such incidents, his career was almost brought to an abrupt premature end.
His career almost ended with Turkish side Fenerbahce and several complicated health issues. A protracted knee injury kept him out of the beautiful game for a very long time until he landed a job with club Bologna.
5. Stephen Appiah is a humanitarian
Appiah is one of the sportsmen in Ghana who are devoted to giving back to the society what the country has given him.
His first move towards achieving this was through the establishment of the Stephen Appiah Foundation.
He said the main motivation behind setting up his foundation was the way he sees people suffer in Chorkor, a fishing community in Greater Accra region of Ghana where he grew up.
The Foundation was set up to provide care, quality education, health facilities and opportunities through sports to improve the overall wellness for underprivileged children in Ghana, helping them attain their full potential in life.
He went on to build the Stephen Appiah Community library in Chorkor which is the one and only one there serving all ages.
Today in Ghana, Appiah is involved in a variety of charity works focused on giving back to society and inspiring young football players.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves last year made him their ambassador and recalling how his own mother suffered under unhealthy cooking conditions, he vowed to use his image and influence to help the fight for clean cooking.
6. He owns a clothing line to support the SAF
Stephen Appiah has designed a clothing line, called StepApp, which was released in late November 2014 in his hometown of Accra. The proceeds of this business are solely meant to fund his foundation.
7. He maintained a clean lifestyle throughout his career
Stephen has a general testimony of being a good citizen of Ghana.
He succeeded in earning almost everyone’s commendation and approval both in his career and other life endeavours.
He has a lot of testimonies from different personalities both at home and in foreign lands.
His various humanitarian acts has in so many ways improved the lives of many Ghanaians, including the provision of employment opportunities.
8. He has a very lovely family
Football is Stephen Appiah’s passion but his family is his life’s blood.
Stephen is married to Hannah and is the proud father of four kids.
They are the centre of his world and he does everything within his abilities to give them the best of life.
9. He ended his professional football career with a testimonial match
Stephen had revealed that amidst his legendary achievements, he still has a regret which is his failure to win a title with the Black Stars, as the Black Stars have not won a trophy since 1982.
In an interview prior to the match, he revealed his intentions: I think Ghanaians have been true to me as in supporting me; they supported me till today that I said I am calling it done so I think I have to give that respect or I have to give back to them in terms of playing a testimonial game to tell them bye bye for their support, for the love that they’ve shown to me.