The demise of former Gambia U-17 Coach and Ghanaian-born Fred Osam Duodu has been announced on Tuesday in Ghana following a brief illness, aged 78.
Described by many as the most successful football manager to have coached a national team side, Osam wasl led the same team to the 2005 World Cup in Peru but was knocked out in the group stages on goal difference despite 3-1 wins over Brazil and Qatar. He resigned shortly after that campaign.
Osam Duodou was Coach of Ghana at the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations and won the tournament with the Black Stars.
The late Osam Duodou had a series of accolades with his native Ghana winning the 1993 African U-20 Cup of Nations and a silver medal at the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship. He coached Ghana at the 2002 African Cup of Nations held in Mali.
“The Gambia Football Federation is sad about the passing away news of a dynamic football technician and a friend of Gambian football. The GFF prays for Osam’s soul to rest in perfect peace,” the GFF wrote on its website.
Former U-17 midfielder Ebrima Sohna, who played under the late coach said Osam Duodu was a good person and who respected everyone. “For me he put in to me a lot, not only how to play football and outside of football. He do that to every footballer in the U-17. If you have problem at home he is always ready to talk to you and help you out. He is one of the coaches I will never forget. May his soul rest in peace,” Sohna who now ply his trade in Kuwait told Observer Sports yesterday following news of Duodu’s passing on.
“My heart is bleeding but my prayers will always be with you. A great coach, father and friend to me,” former U-17 player Ous Koli added.
Koli went on to describe his late coach as a great person and a coach who made a difference in his life and all his mates during their U-17 era, and taught them well. “He made me believe and trust in myself, I learnt a lot from him,” he said while praying for his soul to rest in perfect peace.
Modou Ceesay, a football fan said: “Rest in peace Osam. The wonderful memories you have given the Gambian populace will never be forgotten.”
George Gomez, former President of The Gambia Football Association and ex-Executive Director of The Gambia National Olympic Committee described Coach Osam Duodu as a great man who transformed football in the country and put The Gambia on the world football map.
“My sympathy to the President of the GFF and acclaim his action to send a letter of condolence to his colleague the President of the GFA in Ghana. He will forever be remembered in the history of Gambian history,” he posted on Facebook.
Baba S Touray also posted on his Facebook Timeline: “So sad Osam Duodou has gone! He will surely be missed and will forever be remembered in the history of Gambian football for his legacy. Rest in eternal peace!”
Former coach, now National Assembly Member for Banjul North, Hon. Alhagie Sillah said the late Duodu was a real professional in his work, praying that his soul rest in peace.
He described him as a good man who was very committed and passionate about his work.
by Alieu Ceesay