Club have produced the likes of legendary Leeds striker Tony Yeboah and former Bayern Munich defender Sammy Kuffour
WEST HAM star Andre Ayew has paid tribute to the victims of a deadly bus crash in his home country of Ghana.
A vehicle carrying players from top team Asante Kotoko was involved in a smash that killed one and injured “almost all” 37 passengers.
The Kumasi-based club were on their way home from a Ghana Premier League game against Inter Allies in Accra when their bus struck a stationary truck full of fertiliser.
The crash happened at Nkawkaw, 95 miles from capital Accra on Wednesday night.
The likes of Chelsea‘s Baba Rahman, legendary Leeds striker Tony Yeboah, former Bayern Munich defender Sammy Kuffour and ex-Sunderland defender John Mensah have played for the club.
Ibrahim Ayew – brother the Prem stars Andre and Jordan – and former Aston Villa and Coventry flop Nii Lamptey also had spells.
Andre Ayew tweeted: “Sad. 1 nation 1 country 1 family ????we are together in good and bad.condolences to the equipment managers family and the entire team.”
Baba Rahman also posted: “My thoughts and prayers are with the kotoko family.prayforkotoko.” (sic)
Eastern region police spokesman Thomas Obeng Asare said: “The driver of the bus ran into the truck that was loaded with fertiliser and almost 37 passengers sustained various degrees of injuries.
“They were rushed to the Holy Family hospital at Nkawkaw where some were treated and they have since been referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (in Kumasi).
“Unfortunately, the team’s equipment officer died on the spot and the body has been deposited at the hospital.”
An investigation has been launched into the accident.
The club, nicknamed the Porcupines, confirmed the crash in a statement on its website and said more details would be released later.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said it was “devastated by the sad development” and had sent a delegation to meet the club and offer its support.
It added: “The GFA has established contact with the club and our thoughts and prayers are with Kumasi Asante Kotoko, particularly the injured officials and players.”
Asante Kotoko are due to play Accra Hearts of Oak in Kumasi on Sunday but there was no immediate word on whether the match would still go ahead.
The two-time continental champions have won the Ghana league a record 24 times.
They suffered tragedy in 2001 when a stampede between their own fans and supporters of rivals Hearts of Oak resulted in the death of 127.