Thomas Freeman Yeboah presents a detailed profile of celebrated Ghanaian coach Herbert Addo, who passed away on the morning of Friday March 24 aged 66
Close to 40 years of coaching on the domestic front makes Herbert Addo a bonafide legend as a gaffer at the club and national team levels.
But who was he?
Herbert Addo was born on June 24, 1951 in Accra and hailed from Aburi Konkonduri in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He coached over 15 different clubs in his career, winning the Ghana Premier League on two occasions with two different clubs. He also guided the Black Stars to win the WAFU Championship for national teams in 1986 and 1987.
Some of the notable clubs coached by Addo were Hasaacas, Asante Kotoko, Ashanti Gold, Hearts of Oak, Aduana Stars and Inter Allies.
Herbert Addo was one of the pioneers of Christ the King School in Accra and at age 10 he was sent to England, where he happened to be in a prep school called Holmewood House School at Cambridge Wells in Kings.
The likes of Nana Akufo-Addo, the current President of the Republic of Ghana, the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, former Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) also attended this same school.
He had his college education at Lancing College in Briton, which also happens to be the college attended by Akufo- Addo, before moving to Avery Hill College of Education, which is part of the London Universities, specializing in Physical Education (PE) and English.
From the College of Education, Herbert Addo started his teaching career at Packham Manor Secondary School in South East London and taught English and Physical education for 5 years.
As a Sportsman
Herbert Addo was a versatile sportsman through his school years. He played squash to an international level, winning the British Junior Championships at the Under 14 and 18 levels. Addo also played Cricket to a very high level and was a good footballer as well, captaining the English Public schools from 1966 to 1967. He also played for a semi-professional football club called Calshalton FC, where he was teammates with former England coach Roy Hodgson.
As a Physical Educationist, Herbert Addo started coaching Youth teams and South East London Schools in 1969, but he had his first training course in 1972 at Avery Hills, along with Hodgson.
Return to Ghana
Herbert Addo returned to his country of birth, Ghana in 1978 and continued his coaching career and he was employed by the National Sports Council (NSC), which is now the National Sports Authority (NSA).
He was also appointed as the coach of top flight club SS 74 in 1978 and remained there till 1981, when the club – affiliated to Ghana’s Defence organizations – was disbanded.
Some of the players who played under him were Oti Akenten, who is now the Technical Director of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), as well as ex-Black Stars players Kuntu Blankson, Chisco Abdulai, and Sam Ampeh.
Fankobaah and Okwawu United
Herbert Addo was then after hired as the coach of Agona Fankobaah, before he took over Okwawu United, who were then in the Ghanaian second tier, impressively qualifying them to the top division.
From Okwawu United, Herbert Addo was appointed coach of Western Regional giants Hasaacas. He led them to the West African Football Union (WAFU) Championship in 1982 in his first year.
He stayed on in this role from 1982 to 1985, managing players like Isaac Paha (who was his skipper), Justice Moore, John Essien (1981 Ghana Footballer of the Year), Nana Eshun, Kofi Abbrey, Robert Couffie, Emmanuel Quarshie (1982 Afcon winning captain of the Black Stars), Olabode Williams and Kwame Sampson – all former Black Stars. The likes of Tandoh and Sly Tetteh also passed through his hands.
In 1985 Addo took over at Kumasi-based Cornerstone, helping them win the WAFU Championship in 1987, with Frimpong Manso (ex Black Stars player) as his skipper.
Other players who helped him champion his course at Corners were Emmanuel Ampiah, Gariba Ibrahim, Odame Ampomah, Ibrahim Safianu, Kwadwo Sumaila, Thomas Boakye, Tony Yeboah and P.M.K Kusi, all of Black Stars fame.
He then moved to Corners’ rivals Asante Kotoko in 1987/88 season.
He resigned from the National Sports Council (NSC), after 10 years of active service, to take up a coaching job in Gabon at Shell FC, winning the country’s knockout club competition as well as placing second in the league, with 9 of his players earning call-ups to the Gabonese national team.
Second return to Ghana
Herbert Addo was back again in the country coaching Great Olympics, before he took over second division side Ghapoha and guided them to the Premier League, with the likes of Eben Dida, Edward Ansah and Ben Fokuo in the thick of events.
Addo then left Ghapoha and joined Ashanti Gold FC in 1994, first as an assistant before being promoted to the Head Coach role. He took full charge of the team and led them to the final of the maiden CAF Champions League, losing on penalties to Raja Casablanca of Morocco. Some of the players at the Obuasi-based club then were Nobembe Wake and Kouassi Tousedji (both Togolese imports who played for their national team), Kone Ibrahimah (Ivorian import), Sammy Adjei, Joe Okyere, Nana Arhin Duah, Agyemang Duah, Tony Arhinful, Lawrence Adjei and Joe Okyere (all ex-Black Stars players). Addo left Ashgold in 1997, having stints at clubs like Samatex, All Blacks and Kpando Heart of Lions.
In late 2002, he was appointed to replace the legendary Jones Attuquayefio as coach of Hearts of Oak and he won the league in his first season.
In 2003, although his side was unbeaten in the league, they failed to clinch the trophy, becoming the first club to go unbeaten without winning the league. In early 2004, Hearts of Oak parted ways with him.
Addo had a second spell with Asante Kotoko mid-way in the 2008/09 league season, helping them give Hearts of Oak a good chase to place second on the league log, after going 10 matches without a defeat.
He joined newly promoted side Aduana Stars in 2009 and helped them with the league in their first season, becoming the first newly promoted team to do so in 2009/10.
He left the Dormaa-based side after losing favour with the club’s hierarchy.
He joined Wassaman mid-way through the season, but couldn’t help them beat relegation in the 2012/13 season.
From there he joined B.A United to guide them to the middle league, but due to the death of his wife, could not coach them during the middle league.
His next job was at Premier league debutants Inter Allies, taking over after they had lost their first 6 matches. He lost his first game in charge on the seventh match day, but recovered to go on to succeed in enabling them beat relegation, becoming the first club to beat relegation in the Premier League after losing their first 7 matches. Even more impressively, he also helped the ‘Eleven is to One’ boys to finish second in the FA Cup.
He returned to Hearts of Oak briefly, where he struggled to achieve the success he had had in the early 2000s, before making a second return to Inter Allies, which was his last club, leaving them in 2016.
National team job
Herbert Addo was engaged as coach of the National Sports Council (NSC) in 1978 and remained there till 1988. He was appointed to assist to Emmanuel Afranie at the Black Stars, complementing his effort to win the WAFU Championship for the national team in 1983. In 1986 he was then the Head Coach of the Black Stars when Ghana hosted and won the WAFU Championship, with the three-time African Player of the Year Abedi Pele, the only foreign based player in the team, as his captain. Addo again won the WAFU in 1987 in Liberia, where the team was captained by Kotoko legend Opoku Nti.
In 2011 he qualified Ghana for the African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Sudan.
-Herbert Addo was the first Ghanaian coach to win the WAFU club championship in 1982
-He is the first Ghanaian coach to play in the final of the CAF Champions League in 1997, which was the maiden edition, with his side Ashgold losing on penalties.
-Herbert Addo is one of only two coaches (the other being E.K Afranie) to have won the Ghana Premier League with two different clubs, Hearts in 2002 and Aduana Stars in 2009/10.
-He is also one of the four coaches to win the Ghana premier League at least two times, with only Jones Attuquafio winning more.
-Addo won the league in his first season at Hearts of Oak in 2002
-In 2003, Addo played a complete season without a defeat, becoming the first coach to do so, but unfortunately failed to win the league. In 1970 Olympics went unbeaten and subsequently won the league, however it was a novelty league.
-He became the first coach to guide a newly promoted club (Aduana Stars) to a league triumph in 2009/10 and they also kept clean sheets in all the 15 home matches played, a record in Ghana league.
-He became the first coach to guide a team to beat relegation after losing all their first 7 matches. He took charge of Inter Allies on match day 6 and lost the 7th week game, however they pulled a great surprise by finishing 8th on the league log.
-He also led Inter Allies to the final of the MTN FA Cup, but lost 2-1 in the extra time to Kotoko.
eonlineghana.com | Credit: Pulse.com.gh | Comprehensive profile: All that you need to know about late Herbert Addo