The famous line in Accra Hearts of Oak anthem: “Arose Arose -be quiet and don’t be silly, We are the famous Hearts of Oak, we never say” goes to further reiterate the Phobians longevity as it remains the oldest surviving club in Ghana.
The continental club masters celebrates their 110th anniversary today and it couldn’t have come at an opportune time as the Phobians showed glimpses of their superiority on the local front having won the double in the previous season.
Despite the disappointment of not making the group stages of this year’s Champions League, the Phobians can be proud of honours achieved over past years.
Togbe Afede XIV, Board Chairman of the club recently said at the launch of Common Value Alliance that Hearts have always been pacesetters and believes they can lead the way in the rejuvenation of Ghana’s football once again.
“Hearts have always been pacesetters and we believe a strong Hearts, a better Hearts of Oak, would impact positively in the preeminence of Ghana football at all levels,” he said.
A Trip down the memory lane
Accra Hearts of Oak was formed by some young men from Asafoatse Nettey family from Ussher Town came together to form a football club to challenge the only other team in Accra at the time.
The team won their first major match in 1922 when governor of the Gold Coast now Ghana, Sir Gordon Guggisberg founded the Accra Football League. Hearts of Oak won six out of 12 seasons in that league.
In 1956, Hearts joined the Ghanaian football league and have flourished since. The club in the year 2000, won the Ghana FA cup, the Ghana Premier League and the CAF Champions League for the first time, after being runners ups of the CAF Champions League in 1977 and 1997.
This was the most successful year in the clubs’ history. Hearts after that mind blowing performance in the year 2000 went ahead to win the African Super Cup and another league title in 2001.
The club in the year 2004 played their first Confederations Cup and won the cup that year after beating arch-rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko on penalties and became the first African Club to win both continental club competitions.
The club ended their 12 year trophy-drought this year after Coach Samuel Boadu took over as manager.
The team now has a joint trophy as 21 times Ghana Premier League winners having been the only club to have won the league on six consecutive occasions (1997-2002), holds a record as 11 times FA Cup champions, and two times winners of the Ghana Super Cup.
The home ground of the club is the Accra Sports Stadium.
On February 12, 2001 Accra Hearts of Oak after dominating Africa and the world, was ranked by CNN/World Soccer as the 8th best club in the world in its weekly chart with the Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all in the top 10.
The club has for the past years produced some of the country’s famous footballers including the former captain of the Black stars Stephen Appiah who led Ghana to its first World Cup back in 2006.
Some of the club legends include Mohammed Achmed Polo (Dribbling Magician), Benard Don Bortey Charles Taylor, Charles Allotey, Amankwah Mireku, Francis Jojo Bossman, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Sammy Adjei, Laryea Kingston, just to mention a few.