Former Asante Kotoko captain, Ernest Papa Arko, has shed light on the unique methods employed by veteran football administrator, Alhaji Grusah, during the 1980s. Arko disclosed that Grusah, known for his role in Ghanaian football, would entice players by offering them cow meat as an incentive.
Arko explained that Grusah’s father owned the largest abattoir, locally referred to as Mayanka, in Kumasi. This familial connection allowed Grusah to establish relationships with players’ parents by gifting them meat. By doing so, he aimed to create a bond and facilitate the player’s training with his team.
Recalling a specific incident, Arko mentioned how Grusah told Opoku Afriyie, a fellow player, that he had acquired him through the provision of meat. Grusah playfully remarked that Afriyie could confirm this with his father when the player failed to score in a match.
“He was my neighbor, and his father was the king of cow meat (beef) at Mayanka. So if he was interested in you, he would simply bring your mother meat. He once told Opoku Afriyie, ‘You didn’t score. Ask your father, I bought you cow meat,'” Arko recounted.
Alhaji Grusah is widely known as the financier of Ghana Premier League side, King Faisal Babies. His involvement in football began with the establishment of a colts team, which has produced numerous talented players for Ghanaian football. Over the years, King Faisal has evolved into a top-flight team while maintaining its reputation for discovering and nurturing promising talents.
Among the notable players developed by King Faisal are Opoku Afriyie, Papa Arko, Mallam Yahaya, Tony Yeboah, Michael Osei, and Sarfo Gyamfi, to name a few. In more recent times, Alhaji Grusah’s contributions have led to the rise of renowned names such as former Bayern Munich defender Samuel Osei Kuffour, former Asante Kotoko player Yussif Chibsah, former Borussia Dortmund striker Ibrahim Tanko, and former Asante Kotoko striker Sheilla Illiasu.
The unorthodox approach adopted by Alhaji Grusah highlights his distinctive and successful methods of talent identification and development within Ghanaian football. His legacy continues to be associated with the discovery and nurturing of exceptional players who have made significant contributions to both local and international football.