Alumni to rebuild Aggrey Memorial College, restore lost dominance in sports

By Victor Enyinnaya on December 5, 2018

Views: 2,220

The famous ‘C’ Field in Aggrey Memorial College, Arochukwu, will on December 28, literally recognise the old legs that played on the turf several years ago as students. It promises to be sweet reminiscences!

The ‘C’ Field had served as nursery turf where Aggrey students displayed soccer artistry back in the day, from where the likes of ex-Super Eagles star, Torty O. Torty, and ex-Rangers International, Okereke Emesi, emerged. Others, too numerous to mention, hung their boots thereafter, to pursue different careers.

Now they are returning as members of the alumni association for a different purpose: a novelty football game against their unknown female colleagues.

Fans are looking to see the likes of Obinna Onwuchekwa (Six Pounder), Henry Fagbola (Casablanca), Charlie Akweke-Oji (Caesar), Okugo Uwa (Dumbraye), Chima Ibe, Godwin Orji (Isoka), Chikwendu Udensi (Cho-Cho), Bernard Okoli (Soccer Graduate) and Augustine Mbanefo (Bravo), among others, attempt to re-enact their long-lost skills on the pitch.

Even with frail legs, pundits predict an intimidating line-up of the men against their never-capped female opponents.

The novelty football match is one of the several activities lined up to mark a grand reunion of the old students of Aggrey Memorial College, Arochukwu. Other activities include road show, lecture, awards presentation and gala nite, which will culminate in fundraising on December 29. All facets of the event, it was learnt, are being tidied up.

President of the alumni association, Mazi Emma Okoro Egbukwu, said: “The homecoming of old students of Aggrey Memorial College promises to be colourful, the planning of which had been entrusted to diligent old students who understand the enormity of the task. So far, I am impressed with the planning, as well as the feelers we are getting. In fact, the event will be both colourful and successful.”

The committees, he said, “have been working hard in the last six months planning the event. We are all involved because we have challenged ourselves to raise funds to rebuild the college that built us up.”

While it is expected that several of the old students of the college will fly in from around the world for the occasion, Egbukwu said important personalities in Nigeria who value quality education are being invited to join hands to resuscitate the decrepit infrastructure of the college.

Aggrey Memorial College, Arochukwu, is the first post-primary educational institution in Nigeria established by an individual. It was founded by the late Dr Alvan Ikoku in 1932, and named after a renowned Ghanaian educator, Dr James Kwegair Aggrey. It ranked along with Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), Onitsha; Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, and Kings College, Lagos. In its heyday, the college also admitted students from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon.

But following the takeover of schools by the government, the college suffered neglect, resulting in systemic deterioration of its infrastructure.

Today the college is a shadow of its former self, a large swathe of its space having been acquired by the Abia State College of Education, Arochukwu (ASCETA), leaving Aggrey Memorial College without good classrooms; boarding facilities for its students and, least of all, offices for the teachers.

Yet the institution has trained a host of prominent personalities including the late Mazi S.G Ikoku, Dr K.O Mbadiwe, and sports prodigy, John Onyeador, among others who have distinguished themselves in different spheres of life.

Egbukwu is nonetheless optimistic that the institution will bounce back, given the overall agenda of the alumni association, which is to first re-build the institution before liaising with the appropriate government agencies to re-tool the teaching staff.

Hitherto, Aggrey Memorial College had been a dominant force in sports, producing talents that represented the college in regional and national sports competitions. Notable among them was the first post-independence skipper of the national soccer team – Green Eagles – John Onyeador.

The old students, particularly those that played soccer for the college, think there is a lot to gain if they help their alma mater to rebuild, re-invigorate and restore its lost dominance in sports.

•Photo shows Aggrey College old boys line up preparatory to a football match

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 5, 2018

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