If you started following Ghana football the last two decades or less, you probably might have heard about the imperious 64 Battalions of Hearts of Oak led by the legendary Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio.
That team which had the likes of Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Ishmael Addo, Charles Taylor, Bernard Don Bortey, Sammy Adjei, Charles Allotey, Edmund Copson just to name a few was dominant and won six Ghana League titles in a row in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
They also won the CAF Champions League and the Super Cup in the year 2000 and 2001 respectively.
At the height of their powers, the 64 battalions as they were affectionately called beat their bitter rivals Asante Kotoko by 4-0 in the year 2000. The 64 Battalions were also ranked in the top Ten teams in the World by CNN at the time.
But long before the emergence of the 64 Battalions, Hearts of Oak had the Fearsome Fivesome and the ‘Musical Youth’ made up of Shamo Quaye, Ezekiel Alamu, Santrofi Acquah and Ablade Kumah.
The ‘Fearsome Fivesome’ was made up of Mohammed Polo, Mama Bomber Acquah, Peter ‘Best Man’ Lamptey, Anas ‘Thunderman’ Seidu and Robert Hammond”.
Those five were the fulcrum of the Hearts of Oak side of the ’70s and ’80s and they terrorized defenders on the local scene and the continental scene as well.
The Fearsome Fivesome is best remembered for orchestrating what many call the greatest miracle and comeback in Ghana football, also known as ‘The Miracle of El-Wak’.
That day was November 6, 1977. A day Accra Hearts of Oak lived beautifully to their motto, “Never say die until the bones are rotten”.
They had been well beaten by 5-2 in Zambia by Ndola-Copperbelt-based Mufulira Wanderers in the first leg of the CAF Champions League. But the Phobians managed to overturn the deficit, winning 3-0 at El-Wak and becoming the second team from Ghana after Asante Kotoko to reach the finals of the competition.
The precision of that game, the stakes and the way the Fearsome Fivesome delivered on the day cemented their name in the hearts of Hearts of Oak fans.
The superstar in the famous “fearsome five-some” squad, his absence was usually hard felt than those of his colleagues. Those who played with him say he was the greatest player, those who saw him play said the same thing, but those of us who never saw him can believe in the aforementioned group. Polo indeed was our greatest player.
His greatest greatness is the oneness of conviction from all who ever saw him play – there are no grey areas or in-betweeners; they all say Polo is the greatest.
Mama Bomber Acquah
Mama Musah, a.k.a Mamah “Bomber” Acquah, died on Monday, August 28, 2006, at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, NY in the United States.
Mamah Acquah, the anchor of the great Accra Hearts of Oak team of the late 1970’s had been living in the United States for many years. He was brought to the USA during the formation of the United States soccer team called Cosmos, which also included Brazilian soccer great; Pele.
He also played for the senior national team, the Black Stars.
Peter ‘Best Man’ Lamptey
Peter Lamptey (born 6 April 1946) is a former Ghanaian international footballer. He was the top scorer in the Ghana league in 1973 and played most of his club football for Accra Hearts of Oak SC and Great Olympics. While playing with Hearts of Oak, Lamptey, together with, Mama Acquah, Robert Hammond and Anas Seidu were known as “the fearsome fivesome.” He was often referred to as the “goal thief” for his scoring prowess. He later joined Accra Great Olympics which he played for in his latter years in football.
Anas ‘Thunderman’ Seidu
Anas ‘Thunderman’ Seidu is regarded as one of the best forwards in the history of Ghana football. His role in the Fearsome Fivesome can never be underestimated and it was little surprise that he was part of the Black Stars team that won the AFCON trophy for keeps in 1978.
Robert Hammond died in 2017 after a short illness.
The ex-Ghana international was pronounced dead in the US, where he was residing with his family after calling time on his playing career.
He was part of the historic football game between Hearts of Oak and Santos at the Accra Sports Stadium which featured Brazilian star Pele.
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