thumbnail Hello, takes a nostalgic look down memory lane at the old glories of the Super Clash and the good and bad memories it came with

By Joshua Ansah

On this lovely Wednesday I just watch the kids play a lovely game of football outside the house, smiling as they argue about who gets to write Ishmael Addo or Charles Taylor on their shirt, replica jerseys are rare and any shirt that contains the famous red yellow and blue colours will do.

Hailing from a pro-Hearts family they allow the other team to have the names of the Kotoko players like Nana Arhin Duah, Godwin Ablordey and others on the back of their shirt and the game begins.
A wounded lion: Accra Hearts of Oak

The biggest game on the Ghanaian football scene is on the horizon and the euphoria is everywhere, other than the children’s mini attempt at replicating or predicting the game, flags have been flying above houses since the teams last played a league match, and public transport buses are draped in the colours of one club or the other with Hearts Of Oak flags more common in Accra and Kotoko flags more common in Kumasi. Drivers stick out their heads in traffic to scream Phooobia and Faaabuolous into each other’s ears before going on to deride each other about past humiliations their teams have suffered.  

Drinking bars all around turn into platforms of debate and the whole country is overtaken by the fever as a real sense of occasion overwhelms the host city, usually Kumasi or Accra. It is difficult to make it over a distance of 50 meters without getting some reminder that the big game is not far off, from the couple of stoned men arguing by the nearest ‘Blue Kiosk’ to the ‘Obroni Waawu’ salesmen hotly contesting whether Ishmael Addo will score again or the tough tackling Joe Hendricks will get the better of him. People throng the stadiums to watch the magical Charles Taylor in action. For a well-known Hearts fan all Kotoko sympathisers, mostly Olympics fans, take the slightest opportunity to jab a remark about how poor the team is going to be come Sunday, especially if the last result did not go according to plan.

No TV?, well any radio station will have it on live and if all else fails just sit by the road and watch the cars, a prolonged horn always signifies a goal, just check the flag on the car bumper to know which team has scored, believe me it works

- Joshua Ansah
Players of both teams take centre stage in household discussions and avid fans of particular players come out in full force. There is the ever-able Godwin Ablordey, who was a favourite of my family’s till he switched to the ‘other side’, the quite dangerous Isaac Boakye, the resolute Jacob Nettey, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, the general, the afore mentioned hit man Ishmael Addo and many more all of which lay the backdrop for the intense anxiety but when the day comes everyone is just ready to be blown away by the football and the sheer sense of the occasion. You have to drink it in because these are the two best teams in our small footballing world and usually you only get to see both on the same pitch twice in a year. Thankfully this fixture rarely ever disappoints.

The hype for this game though great is never out of place, it is a game that leaves many sitting on tenterhooks. This game is never dull, from last gasp winners, wonderful comebacks to humiliating defeats, the game always seems to bring the best out of someone and you rarely ever leave the stadium disappointed, that is if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket. If you’re not then you have hope in GTV, who will be carrying it live. No TV?, well any radio station will have it on live and if all else fails just sit by the road and watch the cars, a prolonged horn always signifies a goal, just check the flag on the car bumper to know which team has scored, believe me it works I’ve used the method several times. The passion in every tackle and every effort at goal can be felt at home and when it’s all done one set of fans will be wielding ammunition that will give them the upper hand in banter, till the next game, phrases like ‘Philomena Pkitinge’ from a famous 4-0 win for Hearts of Oak dominate the ba
nter scene till the next game, or till the winners suffer some sort of humiliating result like ‘0244’ from Hearts of Oak’s dismal 2005 Champions League performance. The banter adds to the spice of the game and secretly is at the heart of the games popularity with the fans who as the next game approaches are secretly hoping their team comes good else going to school, work or anywhere else for that matter will be next to impossible come Monday.

PRESSURE | Is Didi Dramani ready for the drama of the current generation in the Super Clash?

Disaster struck in 2001 when some fans revolted after the game with some estimated 127 lives lost on that day. A sad day indeed in the history of this great fixture, a day remembered each time these teams played when the sad events of the day overshadowed a day which showcased some great footballing talent.

Hmmm the good old days, when every kid wanted to be the next Charles Taylor or Ishmael Addo or Joe Hendricks, when you were either Hearts or Kotoko with no grey areas, where Faaaabuolous and Phoooobia were all you needed to start a football argument, hmm the good old days. I wonder what ever happened to this intriguing fixture of ours.

The football is still quite good but all the nostalgia is gone. Club replicas abound but very few are those of Ghanaian clubs. Children still idolise Ghanaian players and look to replicate them but these players no longer ply their trade in the Ghanaian shores. Are these two teams even still the best this country can offer? What ever happened to this revered fixture of ours?  Do you know? If you do let me know below.

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