I Was A Great Table Tennis Star – Dong Bortey Reveals

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Benard Dong Bortey
Benard Dong Bortey

Former Accra Hearts of Oak schemer striker, Benard Dong Bortey has revealed that he wanted to play for the national table team, the Black Loopers, but pressure from football fans made him to change his mind to play football.

Speaking on GTV Sports programme hosted by Benjamin Willie Graham, he disclosed how he was hot as a wonder kid in the Tema, Teshie and Nungua environs who could predict his own performance and score any amount of goals he wanted.

According to Bortey, his dad a former footballer did not give him the chance to live the way he wanted, so he often ran from home and became a ‘koborlor’ due to football.

The former Black Starlets 1999 play maker who was exposed at Ghapoha Readers in Tema said he is in a class of his own because he came from a family with tradition, and he is talented, skillful and magical in the game of football.

He said he loves to bring entertainment and style into the game, and was the first local player to dye his hair to earn the name ‘El Hadji Diouf’ after the Senegal star.

Some of his playing mates in the Black Starlets that won bronze at the 1999 FIFA World Under 17 in New Zealand, then coached by the late Cecil Jones Attuquyefio were Michael Essien, Ishmael Addo, Ibrahim Atiku, Anthony Obodai, Stephen Tetteh, Ibrahim Razak, Stephen Oduro, Razak Pimpong, Kwame Pele Frimpong and Nathaniel Lamptey.

Bortey who won the African Confederaton Cup with Hearts of Oak in 2004, and featured for the Black Stars under coach Dossena recalled how he was wanted by Kumasi Asante Kotoko when Mr. Herbert Mensah was chairman, but he swerved them after collecting money, causing his arrest and taken to court.

He played twenty-seven games for the Ghanaian national football team and scored nine times; the latest game being in the qualifying stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup He also represented his homeland in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand, where he played 6 games and scored 3 goal

He was a Four-time Ghanaian Premier League Champion with Accra Hearts of Oak SC, and claimed the Ghana Premier League joint goal-king in 2002.

His goal was nominated for the CAF International Goal of the Year in 2001.

Other clubs he featured for are 2002-2003 Al Wasl (loan), 2008–2009 Bnei Sakhnin (loan), 2010–2013 Aduana Stars, 2011–2012 Sông Lam Nghệ An (loan), 2013 New Edubiase United, 2014 The Panthers, 2015 Ånge IF, 2019 Great Olympics.

Bortey regrets not playing at the World Club Championship and missing an opportunity to play in Europe.

He also said he as a son who is combining education and football at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Present on the programme were his team mate at Hearts, Adjah Tetteh and now player agent, Yusif Chibsah who played for Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

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