I didn’t want to leave Hearts of Oak – Stephen Appiah
Former Accra Hearts of Oak player, Stephen Leroy Appiah has revealed that leaving Hearts of Oak to Italy was one of the biggest and toughest decisions of his career to date.
Appiah who enjoyed an illustrious career with the Rainbow club received an offer for trials in Italy after being scouted by an Italian agent.
However, the midfielder who will go on to play for Udinese and Juventus nearly turned down the offer because of the fame he received on the local scene.
In an interview with KOD on Instagram, Appiah said, “It was very difficult because at that time I was playing very well for Accra Hearts of Oak. I remember we played a game with GAPOHA at the Tema Sports Stadium, so after the game, I saw this white man with Nii Ayi Bonte. Nii Ayi Bonte called me and told me that I had to go to Italy because the man thinks I’m a good player so he wants to take me for trials in Italy.”
According to Appiah, he wanted to turn down the offer because the fans showed him love with gifts anytime he walked around town.
“I said no I don’t want to go because I was enjoying the hype. I was doing so well that every Sunday when I play games, the next day I go to UTC in Accra and I deliberately walk towards WATO,” Appiah said in the interview monitored by Ghanaweb on Monday.
He added, “People will be calling and be giving me iron, come and take 20 cedis, so I was enjoying that moment so I didn’t want to go to Italy but in the end, I travelled.”
Stephen Appiah won the 1996 FA Cup and the 1997 Ghana Premier League trophy with Hearts of Oak before leaving for Europe.