His Excellency Professor Atta Mills was a keen follower of the progress of the Black Stars, most times taking time off his usually busy schedules to visit us in camp during very crucial matches.
We fondly remember his visit to the team on the eve of our match against USA in 2010 during the second round of the World Cup in South Africa.
Professor Mills motivated the team ahead of the game, goading the playing body to play our hearts out on behalf of mother Ghana. He particularly stressed on the need for unity in camp as a key pre-requisite of success. Truly, Ghana famously won that game setting up a quarter final clash with Uruguay. Though we painfully lost that game to Uruguay under very controversial circumstances, the President stood by us, at a time when most members of the team were depressed at the loss. He entreated us to put that loss behind us and rather look to the future.
Having served as Black Stars Management Committee chairman in times past, the late President took a keen interest in the progress of the team, most times offering very valuable pieces of advice. He had an aura of peace and humility around him that was irresistibly infectious to all who came into contact with him. Despite being the most powerful person on the land, the President freely interacted with the playing body, calling players by first name and sharing jokes with us. Those happy moments will forever be etched in our memories.
In this difficult period, our hearts go out to the widow, Dr. (Mrs.) Ernestina Naadu Mills, his son, family and the entire country. The least we can do to immortalise the memory of this great President will be to strive hard and qualify for, and perform well at both the African Cup of Nations in January 2013 and World Cup in Brazil in 2014. We ask all Ghanaians to pray for the family as they endure this tragic loss.