Things were going well for Man City Sierra Leone up until June 2014 when the team bus was involved in a crash on the streets of Freetown.
The damage, as can been seen, was extensive but more importantly the driver sustained a serious foot injury and spent a week in hospital, that was not only painful for him but expensive to fund. Although it was not our drivers fault there is no insurance scheme out there as we have over here. I am pleased to say that the driver has since made a full recovery.
The bus remained off the road for several weeks and the cost of the repair depleted our funds considerably. Of course being off the road for so long meant that the bus was not earning an income for the club and yet again we had to raise finds to keep them afloat.
Eventually the bus was back on the road and all seemed looked well, but this was short lived. Almost immediately after the bus was back the terrible tragedy of Ebola hit West Africa and Sierra Leone in particular. Quite soon into the disaster we received the sad news that Dr. Mohammed Korma had died from the disease. He was the Chair of the largest Sierra Leone supporters club outside of the capital Freetown and had contracted the disease through his work with the afflicted. We were able to send his family a little money to help them through the loss of their only breadwinner.
The next tragedy struck in October 2014 when the club medic Allie Turay died. As well as the Man City Sierra Leone Medic he was a nurse at the local hospital which is where he contracted the disease.
He left behind a wife and two young children. His death caught the interest of City Fans throughout the world and we are proud to say that City fans being City fans they came together to aid his family financially with the New York Branch holding a fund raising event for the family and raising $1000.
By January 2014 there were signs that the Ebola Crisis was beginning to wain having killed more than 2,500 people in Sierra Leone. However it was on 28th January that we were informed of the death of our 19 year old defender Dura Kanu
Dura’s father died from Ebola the week before and as we write this article his remaining family are still isolated in their home under quarantine regulations. Dura was the player who scored the winning goal to get the club promotion into the first division. Again we have been able to help his family financially.
The outbreak of Ebola has seen the suspension of all football, schooling and people are not allowed to gather, so they cannot even go out to watch a City game on television. We all hope for end of this terrible plight on innocent people who have little in life anyway.
That the recent bad news. Let’s look at some good news:
In November, with the ongoing Ebola crisis in mind, City fans started collecting anti-bacterial hand gel to ship out. Whilst this was no cure for the disease it was thought to help. Before the serval hundred bottles collected were shipped the effort came to the attention of British Telecom, who are the employers of Howard Burr. Through Howard they donated several thousand anti-flu kits they had in stock. The kits consisted of face masks and ant-bacterial wipes. Not only did they donate the kits but they also paid for the shipment, which included our bottles of gel along with various items donated toward Armani’s new house which is in the process of being built.
The items were delivered by Armani to various health establishments in Sierra Leone and were gratefully received, re-enforcing their already fond views and MCFC and its supporters. Simple donations like this actually save lives.
During Arman’s visits to the UK people have donated to him personally in order that he could build a house for him and his family. Along with Paul Lake, Howards Burr, Phil Holme and Alex Channon I witnessed the conditions that Armani is currently living in. To say they are desperate is an understatement. A man who works so hard to promote Man City in his country deserves more and I am pleased to say that the photo below is how Arman’s new house stands now (February 2015).
It is not finished yet but is not far off. Anytime he can earn money he buys more materials but it is a slow, expensive project.
We should be very clear that none of the money donated for Sierra Leone has been spent on Armani’s house. The money has come from individuals who have specifically donated towards the house itself.
We can continue to grow Man City Sierra Leone, hopefully into a Premier League club, but only with the help from City fans worldwide, that having been said we recently received a very generous donation from somebody who, as far as we know, is not a City fan.
Article from The Exclusive Press Newspaper in Sierra Leone:
I will like to inform you all that in less than 24 hours time the Sierra Leone division one league will kick off and Manchester City will play Belvic United in the opening ceremony at the nation stadium in Freetown.
As the year 2011 will always go down in the history book as the year City in UK won the FA cup after 35 years and qualify for champion league and the local chapter out here promoted from the Sierra Leone division two to division one league.
Fellow blues i will like to say a million thanks to you all for your support towards the football club as you are helping youth who has great talent in football to make in life, you are also providing employment for 30 senior team players and 25 youth team players and paying school fees for some youth team players whose parent can not afford it, from the money coming in from the bus.
The technical staff of the football club is working very hard to see we get promoted to the premiership or maintain in the division one as this is the most difficult league out here, we have sign 3 new players to strengthening the team and loan 5 youth players so that they can be playing regularly The match tomorrow will be played infront of the sport minister and the director of sport. As we looking forward to it soccer fans has describe the match to be a tough encounter as both team want to take the three point home.
Once more we like to say thanks very much to you all for your support, with out your support we will not has gone that far as it very hard to run a football club out here with little gate taking and some time no gate taking and when we get promoted the FA has not given the newly promoted teams no money for the preparation of the league. I will like to inform you all the income coming from the bus is helping us greatly in running the football club as it has provide employment for the players to collect salaries at the end of the month.
Thanks and best regard
Armani in Sierra leone
I will like to inform you all that the Sierra Leone division league will kick off next week out here.Manchester City and Belvic United will start the league on the 13th June at the Sierra Leone National stadium as soccer fans has describes this encounter to be a tough fixture.
The technical team is working very hard to see that the team performance very well in the up coming division one league as this is the most difficult league out here,presently the City fans want the team to strengthening as this is the cry out here from the supporters who don't want the team to relegated but to be promoted to the Premiership or maintain in the division one.
In another development the salaries of players has been increase from seventy thousand for youth players to one hundred thousand and from one hundred and twenty Leone for senior players to one hundred fifty thousand Leone. And we have sign 3 news players and loan 2 new players from different premiership clubs and we have sent 5 youth players on loan to 2 different non division club.
I am delighted to inform you all that the team have been promoted to the Sierra Leone division one league.
After hard work with the players and coach and my back room staff the team was able to make it to the division one. As you all know City finish second in group B with 20 points which make the team one of the 4 teams to make it in the play off to have 3 teams to make it to the division one, with hard work team spirit and with the dynamic team who work with me and a special thanks to the team doctor and the fans we were able to be among the top 3 teams to make it as we won one match,draw one match and loose one match.
Manchester City, Waterloo FC, Anti Drag FC and Sheffield United qualify for the play off to find three teams to make it to the division one at the end of the play off Manchester City, Anti Drags FC and Sheffield United make to the Division one league which kick off out here in June this year.
Please see photos of this colorful event as City fans out here came out in numbers in the last match won against Waterloo FC by one goal to nil to support the team as after the match we were all dancing along the street of Freetown from the national stadium in the west to the east part of Freetown were most of fans have come from.
I am please to inform you all that City defeated Estate Contractor past Tuesday by 2 goals to 1 to stay second in the league with 7 matches played so far.
Manchester City took the lead in the 24th minute when Cyril Davis collected a short corner and drove home a low effort.Estate Contractor were fortunate not to be behind as early as a minute into the game.A long ball from Santagi Kargbo was inadvertently headed into Osman Turay path the stopper of Estate by Alhaji Turay,but Osman Turay rushed his shot and slieed high and wide from an acute angle.It was a big miss for City who despite dominating possession,lacked the imagination and attacking threat usually provide by injured pair Isameal Makish Sesay and Randy Roy Williams.City were dealt yet another blow when Joseph John limped off after 15 minute holding his hamstring.Estate were bright on the counter attack and their 20 year old debutant Mohamed Sesay showed promise with a number of neat touches,Mohamed orchestrated his side best move of the first half.
Manchester City displayed some much needed urgency after the brake to increase the lead,however in the 84th minute Estate Contractor level the score from a 25 yards shot from Mohamed Sesay strike.But for the City team it will be considered a case of two points dropped and mean a lost if we draw the match,as the match official signal 3 minute of add time i told the boys to press and go for the three point.A pass from Alhaji Turay the captain to Mustapha Kamara who wasted no time find Alhaji who was doing the running took the 28 yards shot to give Man City the precious three point,it was a joyfull moment and excite time for the goal to come as the players were dancing and singing we want to make it to the division 1.
A 25th minute Strike from Ishmeal Makish in the first half was enough to hand City the three point precious point in our on going division 2 league out here in Sierra Leone.
The first 10-15 minutes of the match was unsurprisingly Manchester City possession, with Ibrahim Turay having two good chances at goal, both saved by Abu Cole the Kangari Eagle goal keeper.
He also hit the side netting from a one two set piece effort in just 20th minute. However in the 25th minute City got the only goal in the match.
When the second half start both teams were desparate for the three point as City were in the 3rd position with 5 points and Kangari Eagles 2nd with 6 points,with the fantastic performance of the boys City carry the day with the 3 points as we now are now 2nd in the table with 4 matches played and have 8 points.
I am delighted to inform you all that the football team crash Ahmadiyya fc out here in our on going WAFA division 2 league. Manchester City came from behind to win the match by 3 goals to 1,Ahmadiyya fc open the score in the 24 minute of play from a free kick through their central defender,12 minute to the end of the first half Manchester City equalizer with a spot kick taken by the team captain Alhaji Turay.
The score remain level as we go in to the brake,mid way into the second half both team made vibrant substitutions bring in fresh legs.However the determined Man City boys proved too strong as we took full control of the match with the pressure mounting on me and the boys out here from the City fans out here who want to see the team win and be on top of the table.This onslaught paid dividends as City substitute Kalilu Mansary score two goals within 15 minute.
Please see photos of the team in the Div 2 league in the first match we played at the National Stadium with me and my Boys as the match ended 2-2 each our next match is on Friday with Tombo fc, in Tombo Village 40 miles from the capital city Freetown.
I delighted to inform you that on the 22-02-11 the bus was hired to take some yankees who arrival in Freetown with a big ship to tour Freetown area and visit the Lumley beach and take them to the ship again.I was very delighted as most of them came from the UK and asked the story about Man City in Sierra Leone among them was a woman coming from a area near Manchester City who told the drive Alusine that his husband contributed towards the bus. Please see photos of the bus in the Port as the ship was to dock at the quay and the yankees in the bus.
Please see children of the supporters club as they visit the Lumley beach on the 13-2-11 to celebrate little Tony birthday it was a lovely moment as the children enjoy themselves and sang a song ,City City City Man City God bless Man City Football Club and the Supporters club world over.As for the Children it was their first day to visit the Lumley beach and they were all excited about it and look forward to do it again as they all have fun in the beach.