Coach Sam Arday shared a common passion of football with a lot of us and he lived and dedicated his life towards the promotion and development of the game.
Remarkable exploits with a number of club sides such as Great Olympics, Okwahu United, Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko national teams, and until his death the West African Football Academy (WAFA) bear ample testimony to his good works.
I met Coach Arday, for the first time in the early 1980s when he, together with his great friend and colleague Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio (who predeceased him) worked together as coaches of Accra Great Olympics during one of the most glorious years of the Wonder Club.
Most of us know how difficult it is to have two coaches of that standing working together in unison, but the two great coaches worked well to qualify Olympics to play in the continental competition in 1982/1983
In 2006, I had the great privilege of working closely with The Multi System Man when he joined the Black Stars Management Committee as one of the two sports personalities nominated to serve as government representatives on the body.
He was immediately assigned the responsibility of overseeing to the technical matters of the Black Stars and this involved a great deal of interaction with the technical bench of the team.
Coach Arday’s strong but affable personality, humility, great sense of humour, and above all, his vast knowledge of the game immediately started showing in the discharge of that responsibility.
Coach, displayed a lot of discipline in his work, was always punctual for meetings, paid attention to details, and always had a smile and refreshing joke to cool down fraying nerves whenever the need arose.
Without exception, all the Coaches we worked with during the period (Ratomir Djukovic, Claude Le Roy, and Milovan Rajevac) showed a lot of reverence to him and were always seen huddled together at one corner of the team’s hotel discussing tactical and technical issues.
In the run up to the World Cup, the FA appointed Coach Arday as one of three scouts with the specific task of following and reporting on the Czech Republic. Under very sometimes trying circumstances, Coach followed the Czech team across the world in all their preparatory games and diligently filed and discussed his report with Coach Doya and his men.
He was a real and proud family man who always warmly welcomed friends to his abode (both in Haatso and Sogakope) with sumptuous meals he had prepared.
His children Nii and Naa, grand kids, siblings, the Hemans Arday family, the football fraternity, and the entire nation have lost a great one, but we console ourselves with the fact that he lived his life to the full and contributed more than his fair quota to the game he cherished.
Fare thee well good man, Nii Sammy, Yaaworodjogbann