By Biodun Busari
The body of the former Premier League player Christian Atsu, who was killed in the devastating earthquake in Turkey, has arrived in Ghana, on Sunday.
Atsu’s death was announced on Saturday by his agent Nana Sechere, who said the footballer’s body was found 12 days after the disaster hit Turkey and Syria, claiming more than 44,000 lives.
Ghana international Atsu, who died at the age of 31 had plied his trades with Chelsea, New Castle, Everton and Porto among other clubs, was playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor at the time of his death.
Atsu had been an ambassador for the global children’s charity Arms Around The Child (AATC) since 2016, was the main benefactor of a new school that is nearing completion in Senya Beraku in Ghana.
The coffin containing the body of Atsu arrived at the Kotoka International Airport in Ghana on Sunday evening, according to Daily Mail.
His family members were in anguish at the airport for the arrival of his coffin, while friends poured tributes on Ghana’s midfielder.
A spokesperson for AATC said, “It is with immense pain and disbelief that we have to write these words. We have held onto the hope that Christian would survive and be found in the rubble of the tragic earthquake to hit Turkey and Syria.
“Christian Atsu was a truly unique and wonderful man, and his legacy will live on through the many hundreds if not thousands of lives he has helped.
“He will live in our memories as one of the kindest, most talented, humble people to enter this world.
“A young boy from poverty in Ghana who followed his dreams had an incredibly successful footballing career and used his talent and platform to help others.
“Arms Around The Child were fortunate to have known Christian and will treasure his support for the children we look after, especially the children in Senya Beraku where Christian was building a school in the local community. Christian believed in giving children a brighter future and the opportunity to succeed.
“He never forgot his own roots and didn’t want to see any more children abused, imprisoned, affected by HIV, trafficked or sold.
“He was determined to use his prominence as a footballer to prevent this.
“He had also been supporting The Crime Check Foundation in Ghana with their work paying fines for petty crimes which had resulted in incarceration, and helping people reintegrate into society and get back on their feet.”
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