It was a time of mourning and solemn observation at the pre-burial service for the late Ghanaian footballer as a sea of Ghanaians clad in traditional red-and-black mourning clothing thronged the State House forecourt to pay their last respects to the fallen hero - Christian Atsu Twasam, 1992 - 2023,
The solemn funeral service included a display of traditional artifacts from the star's tribesmen amidst the sorrow and tears.
In the wee hours of Friday, mourners and wreath bearers arrived just in time to find suitable locations to pay their respects to the late Atsu, who died in a terrible earthquake in Turkey at the forecourt of the State House decorated in black and red as well as some national colors to depict the state of mourning.
More than a dozen dignitaries including sportsmen, icons from the entertainment industry joined the public and Atsu's mourning family state-assisted funeral amidst h3avy security presence.
Hosts of dignitaries present at the preburial service as at press time included the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Isaac Kofi Egyir, Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare, Henry Quartey, Sports, President of the Ghana Football Association and other executives, some high ranking sportsmen and other political figures including MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong and MP for Ayawaso Central, Henry Quartey.
At exactly eight o'clock, tributes started to pour in, eulogising the late Ghanaian star as a philanthropist whose deeds would forever leave a mark in history.
Profile of Christian Atsu Twasam, 1992 - 2023
Christian Atsu Twasam popularly known as Christian Atsu, was born on January 10, 1992 at Kyeiamanfro, Kwahu in the Eastern Region to Jonah Akami Twasam and Sarah Afiko Dzuvor all of blessed memory.
He later moved to Madina with his mother and other siblings where he begun his primary education at the La Nkwanta Primary School in Madina.
During his early school days at Madina, he was known by his peers as “Devioo” (little) due to his diminutive stature among the big boys he was playing with.
A name he was still called by his close peers even after he became a professional footballer.
At an early age of about 5, his football talent was so evident and his late father use to tell everybody his son will be the next big player in Ghana.
A prophecy he did not live to see come to pass.
Nevertheless Papa indeed your son also chart his own course and left his legacy on this beautiful sands of time.
He started his football career with Peace Boys Football club.
A colts team at Achimota, Accra. By age ten, he was scouted by the Coach of the then Ga District under 12 football team to represent the district in the Greater Accra under 12 inter district football competition that was hosted in Tema when he was playing for La Nkwanta Primary School.
Even though the Ga district team came as the runner up of the competition, Atsu won the best player of that tournament and was subsequently chosen to represent Greater Accra in the national milo under 12 championship in Kumasi.
Before the tournament in Kumasi, he was seen by scouts of Feyenoord Fetteh Football Academy in one of his games for Peace Boys Football Club at Achimota, Accra and was picked for further trials at their academy in Gomoa Fetteh.
But as fate will have it, the same scouts were at Kumasi to watch the national milo under 12 tournament to scout for other players.
During one of the training sessions for the Greater Accra team, the scouts decided to pick him and make final arrangement for his permanent transfer to the academy instead of opting for a further trials.
His parents were consulted and Atsu was officially allowed to join the academy at the age of 11.
That was the beginning of his football education at the Feyenoord Fetteh Football Academy.
During his time at the academy, he continued with his formal education and was admitted at the Potsin T.I. Ahmadiya Senior High School in the Central Region for the 2007/2008 Academic year.
He was the only form one student to play for the school team in the 2008 National Milo Championship for second cycle schools in the then Brong Ahafo region, where he was awarded the best attacker of the tournament.
Atsu won the best player awards in tournaments Feyenoord participated in in South Africa, The Netherlands, Belgium, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
CHRISTIAN ATSU TWASAM 1992 - 2023
An enviable record he made for himself at the Academy. It wasn’t long Scouts within Europe and Africa came calling eager to get him to clubs in Europe.
In 2009, Ramp management led by their chief scout, Graham Heydorn secured a deal for Atsu at Portuguese giant F.C Porto, but due to him being under age, he will leave Feyenoord Fetteh Academy for Cheetah F.C at Kasoa, in the Central Region till he turned 18 years in January 2010 when he left the shores of Ghana for F.C Porto in Porto, Portugal.
He joined the youth ranks of F.C Porto and continued with his hard work with the youth team.
He won several awards including the Adidas Best Player Award at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup Tournament in Zurich, Switzerland in 2011.
On May 14, 2011, he was called by the then first team manager Andre Villas Boas into the first team for a match against Maritimo, but was an unused substitute.
Atsu, never returned to the youth ranks and was made a permanent first team player.
At the end of the 2010/2011 season, F.C Porto sent him on a season long loan at fellow Portuguese Primeira Liga Club, Rio Ave for the upcoming 2011/2012 season.
He made his debut for Rio Ave on 28 August 2011, in a 0–1 home loss against Olhanense.
On December 16, 2011, Atsu opened the score at Estadia do luz against F.C Porto’s bitter rivals Benfica in the 24th minute.
He made 27 appearances for Rio Ave and scored 6 goals for the 2011/2012 season.
He was adjudged the best player for Rio Ave for the 2011/2012 season. He will return to his mother club FC Porto for the 2012/2013 season.
F.C Porto won the 2012/2013 Primeira Liga title and Atsu was very instrumental in that campaign starting almost most of the league games and the UEFA Champions league.
He had and excellent season, by the time the season was coming to close in 2013, it was rumoured that a lot of big clubs within Europe was after his signature.
Chelsea Football Club reportedly brought the rumours to an end by signing him for an amount believe to be in the region of £3.5 million and was immediately loaned to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem for the 2013–14 season.
Atsu made his debut against Feyenoord as a substitute on October 6th 2013. He went on to providing an assist for Vitesse only goal of the match.
That was indeed a shadow of what was to come for the season. Atsu played a total of 30 games in all competition for Vitesse and scored 5 goals for the Dutch side as they finished 6th in the league.
This led to the team qualifying for the playoff. By the end of the 2013/2014 season, he was voted the Vitesse’s player of the season.
He returned to his mother club, Chelsea football club where he will also have loan spells at fellow premier league club, Everton for the 2014/2015 season, Bournemouth for the 2015/2016 and Malaga in the Spanish Top flight La liga for the 2015/2016 season. Injuries hampered his season and he could not perform to his maximum abilities as he used to.
He fully recovered for the 2016/2017 season and was loaned again to Newcastle United. There he made almost 32 appearances for Newcastle United as they won the championship gaining promotion to the English top flight the premier league.
Newcastle signed him on permanent basis at the end of the 2016/2017 season on a four years contract where he will spent a total of five years at Newcastle United making him a fan favourite and a cult hero at the James Park.
By the time his contract came to end in 2021, he entered the free agency and moved to Saudi pro league club, Al-Raed in Saudi Arabia for the 2021/2022 season.
But due to injuries, his playing time was limited. At the beginning of the 2022/2023 season, he signed an initial one year contract for Turkish Super big club Hataypor on September 6, 2022.
There he was still battling with injuries until the end of January 2023 when he was fully declared fit to compete.
On February 5, 2023, he came on as a late substitute to score the only goal of the match in the seventh minute of added time to rescue the club from going on relegation.
In June 2012, Coach Kwesi Appiah the then coach of the senior national team, the Black Stars gave Atsu his call up to the national team.
On his debut against Lesotho at the Babayara Sports Stadium, he score in the process and from that time became an integral part of coach Kwesi Appiah’s team and subsequent coaches of the senior national team. He was in the Ghana squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. He scored the second goal of Ghana’s 3-0 win against Niger in Port Elizabeth.
Atsu featured in the rest of the games as Ghana came fourth in the tournament in South Africa 2013.
In 2014, Atsu was selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He started all the matches for Ghana.
Ghana was eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup.
In 2015 Atsu was selected for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Ghana lost to Ivory Coast in the final. Atsu won three man of the match at the tournament. He was adjudged the player of the tournament and his strike against Guinea was also adjudged the goal of the tournament.
He participated in the 2017 and 2019 Africa Nations Cup in Gabon and Egypt respectively.
He won one man of the match award at the 2017 tournaments, but his 2019 Nations Cup ended early as he sustained an injury during the opening game.
In all Atsu made 65 appearances for the senior national team.
Atsu was actively involved in charity and philanthropic work. These are things he did without letting it known to the public domain.
He was an ambassador for arms Around the Child, an organisation supporting disadvantaged children and also an ambassador for Crime Check Foundation, an organisation dedicated to crime prevention advocacy, petty offenders’ project, health check series, philanthropy and ex-convict reintegration project.
Atsu was married to Marie Claire Rupio and was blessed with two sons Joshua Christian Twasam, Godwin Twasam and a daughter Abigail Twasam.