Hearts of Oak mark 108th birthday

Pulse Sports writer/statistician Thomas Freeman Yeboah, takes you down the memory lane, as Hearts of Oak marks its 108th anniversary today

Hearts of Oak

Accra Hearts of Oak was formed on 11th November, 1911 and it was the third football club in Gold Coast after Excelsior (1903 in Cape-Coast) and Invincibles (1910 in Accra)

It was formed to provide challenge to Invincibles, then the only football club in James Town.

Hearts of Oak is at the moment, the only existing Club out of 3 above-named, signifying its strength and character as the HEARTS OF AN OAK TREE, which is its emblem.

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, an oak is a large tree that produces small nuts called acorns. The oak tree is not a single species; about 600 varieties exist worldwide.

Interestingly, oak trees can live up to 200 years or more, and mature trees have the capacity of absorbing more than 50 gallons of water in one day.

In the year 2004, the oak was officially declared as the National Tree of the United States of America, symbolizing the country's sheer strength.

Founding fathers of the club

A group of young men led by Christopher Brandford Nettey (later Asafoatse Nettey), a war leader of the Ga State in the colonial times founded the club. The other founding members were Sinon-Okraku brothes (Adolf, Alfred and Wilhelm), J.T .O Ankrah, J.A Aryee, Dodoo Annang, Darku Abbey, Mark Nettey, the Solomon duo (Amponsah and Kwashie), the Bruce-Tagoe brothers (W.W and T.F), Willie Ocran, TF Wilson, JDK Botwe, FD Amoo, Peter Malm and Quarshie Coker, Akom Duncan.

II.           In fact all the founders were the first players of the team.

III.          1st CAPTAIN: - They chose Saltpond-born Akom Duncan as their first playing captain.

Slogan: – Never Say Die

Motto/ Colours:

The Club’s colours have been red, yellow and blue with a heart embossed in the sterm of the Oak tree as a symbol. The motto “NEVER SAY DIE” reflects the art, science

Achievements of Hearts of Oak: Domestically and internationally

Domestic League – Won 1st organized Ghana League in 1958 and had since won it 19 more times including, a 6th consecutive and unprecedented time between 1997 and 2002.

Knock-out – 10

Super Cup – 9 times (4 times being Double Champions)


CAF Champions League: 2000

CAF Super Cup: 2001

CAF Confederations Cup: 2004

Trivia about the club

(i) 1st captain: - They chose Saltpond-born Akom Duncan as their first playing captain.

(ii)         Hearts of Oak Emmanuel Christ Briandt was the 1st ever Captain of the Black Stars

(iii)         When the Black stars (for the first time) won Africa Cup of Nations in 1963, skipper Edward Aggrey-Fynn was also the captain of Hearts.

(iv)        This was repeated in 1995 when Hearts skipper, Addo Odametey also captained the Black Stars to retain the Africa Cup of Nations.

(v)         Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nation victories in 1963, 1965 and 1978 was masterminded by Coach C.K. Gyamfi (now Nana Kumi Gyamfi I), a FIFA /CAF Technical Instructor, who also played for Hearts.

Indeed Emmanuel Christ Briandt, Charles Addo Odametey (all deceased) and C.K. Gyamfi rose to become Patrons of the Club

(vi)        The skipper of the Black Stars that qualified Ghana for its first ever FIFA World Cup Tournament in Germany 2006, and a repeat in south Africa 2010, Stephen Appiah, was nurtured and brought to stardom by Hearts.

(vii).      Ablade Kumah - Captain of the Black Meteors that won Africa’s 1st ever Olympic soccer medal (Bronze) at the Barcelona Olympics (1992).

(Viii)      Ishmael Addo – Golden Boots Winner at the FIFA U’17 World Cup in New Zealand (1999). He was also the first player to win the top scorer of the Ghana Premier league on three consecutive seasons and the second player after Dan Owusu to hit this feat, since the inception of the Ghana football league in 1956.

(ix)Do you know that Hearts of Oak in the 1950's brought Stanley Matthew to Ghana and he played ceremonial matches in Hearts' jersey against some of the local clubs?

(iix) Do you know that in 1969 Hearts invited Santos club of Brazil with Pele leading their attack and the game ended draw?

My Hearts of Oak team of all-time

Sammy Adjei, Chris Briant (He was the first skipper of the Black Stars), Ofei Ansah, Jacob Netteh, Addo Odametey (Skipper of the Black Stars winning team of 1965) Adolf Armah (Part of Ghana’s AFCON winning team of 1978), Shamo Quaye, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Ishmael Addo, Mohammed Polo and Ofei Dodoo

Substitutes: Dodoo Ankrah, Dan Quaye, Amankwah Mireku,Hesse Odamtey Sanni Wahab, Dong Bortey, Peter Lamptey, Robert Hammond, Mama Acquah, Anas Seidu, Charles Allotey, Joe Ansah, Mahatma Otoo, C.K Gyamfi, Aggrey Fyn, Adu Darko, Charles Taylor.

criteria used to select Hearts' finest are as follows:

(1) Position, national teams contribution, commitment and number seasons played for the club and individual brilliance


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