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Herbert Mensah leads a walk to commemorate 23 years since the Accra Sports Stadium Disaster

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Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko Chairman Herbert Mensah on Saturday, May 11, 2024 led a multitude of Ghanaians through the principal streets of Kumasi to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Accra Sports Stadium Disaster.

This tragic event, which took place on May 9, 2001, resulted in the loss of over 126 Ghanaian soccer fans during a league match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

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The walk saw participation from various keep-fit clubs, survivors of hole-in-heart disease, ordinary Ghanaians, and members of the physically disabled society.

The May 9 Accra Stadium Disaster remains a sombre chapter in the history of African football.

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At the time of the disaster, Herbert Mensah was the chairman of Asante Kotoko and was widely celebrated for his dynamic and charismatic leadership of the club. He was actively involved in conveying deceased soccer fans and rescuing surviving ones on the evening of the tragedy.

Subsequently, Mensah established the May 9 Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to providing support and assistance to the families and victims affected by the Accra Stadium Disaster.

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More recently, the foundation collaborated with the Shen Yang and Shen Yuet Children’s Heart Foundation to help families whose children suffer from hole-in-heart disease access costly surgical operations they could not afford otherwise.

The Heart Foundation was founded by Y.C. Shen, a Chinese business mogul operating in Ghana, as the head of the SUNDA group.

Speaking of the transitional progress made by the May 9 Foundation over the years, Herbert Mensah told Ghanaians, “In the last year, we have teamed up with the Shen Yang Children’s Heart Foundation of which I am the secretary, and whose founder, YC Shen, an extraordinary man from China, has invested so much in the heart surgeries of more than 25 children at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Kow Entsua Mensah of the National Cardiothoracic Centre in Accra, and in the process, we have saved the lives of many children, although some could not make it.”

Following the street walk, Herbert Mensah accompanied some of the families and their children, who had undergone successful hole-in-the-heart surgeries, to visit the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

As the life patron of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and celebrating 25 years as the King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II received the visitors warmly.

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