A member of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Ecuador 95 gold-winning team, Abu Iddrisu, says the turning point in his life was after the team paid courtesy call on president of the fourth republic of Ghana, Former President Jerry John Rawlings at the Osu Castle during their trophy parade.
According to the former Starlets forward, he never had the believe in his entire life to one day meet up with the former president who was the most powerful and influential figure at the time in the country and seeing him personally and also taking good advice from him was a dream come true.
“I remember very when we were going as a team to visit the former president, we couldn’t even sit on the bus as they dropped us somewhere and we had to pass through the back gate or the second gate with the soldiers. We were all very happy to have the opportunity to meet the sitting president at the time and because we had also won the CAF Africa youth games, we were seen as idols too, so every moment was really joyful.”
“Even though the former president did not speak with me one on one but as a group, it was a great moment with him. And if I can veer off the discussion a little on a lighter note anyway into politics, at the time NPP were campaigning all over and almost everybody hailed them and I was kind of in that same spirit too but upon seeing the former president as we called him J.J, I suddenly changed my mind and fell in love with his party which was the NDC because I really love the man so much and when I returned home, I told all my house people that now am no more NPP but NDC. I don’t do politics now as a footballer, so I don’t belong to any party now. In fact it was a great moment in my life,” he said.
BLACK STARLETS FULL SQUAD FOR THE 1995 FIFA U-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP:
Michael Abu, Nana Kwaku Attakora Amanianmpong, Kamara Dini, Patrick Allotey, Charles Akwei, Stephen ‘Tornado’ Appiah, Awudu Issaka, Christian Atta Gyan, Joe Ansah, Christian Saba.
Baba Sule, Charles Allotey, Emmanuel Bentil, Bashiru Gambo, Richard Ackon, Abu Iddrisu, David Amoako.
Missing Out: Raymond Fenny, the 2nd choice goalkeeper is the only player missing from the photo for the 18-man squad for the tournament.
The Starlets won the tournament after beating Brazil 3-2 in the final to lift the trophy for the 2nd time in the history of the west African country, the goals were scored by Baba Sule (39’), Abu Iddrisu (45’) and Emmanuel Bentil (49’), Brazil’s equalizer came through Juan (47’) and Marco Antônio (90’).