Ahead of tonight’s clash between England and Ghana, and in view of the fact that Ghana would like to make late England call-up Danny Welbeck number 1 on this list, we celebrate the English-born or raised players who chose their Ghanaian heritage as the path to international football.
1. Lloyd Owusu
The lower league journeyman was at the peak of his career with Brentford at the turn of the century, but his two Ghana caps came later in his career during a second stint with the Bees. His first call-up came in 2005 and he was on the verge of making the 2006 World Cup squad when he tore his groin muscle during a Black Stars friendly against VfB Stuttgart. The Slough-born striker has been a vocal critic of Ghana’s selection policy with regard to British-born players.
2. Patrick Agyemang
Agyemang might be back in favour with Ghana from next season as he will potentially be a Premier League player. Walthamstow’s finest had been out with a long-term injury but has found himself in and around first-team action for Championship champions-elect QPR in recent weeks. The ex-Wimbledon youngster, now aged 30, has four Ghana caps and mustered a goal three minutes into his debut against Nigeria.
3. Will Antwi
Now at Dagenham and Redbridge, Antwi’s solitary Black Stars cap came in his days as a 19-year-old Crystal Palace defender back in 2003. He was then allowed to resume his career in the English lower league with Ghanaian officials safe in the knowledge his international future was tied up should he ever turn out to be a world-beater.
4. Chris Dickson
A more recent call-up than the others on this list, the then Charlton striker was named in a 40-man pre-tournament squad ahead of the 2008 African Cup of Nations. Dickson made two appearances for the Black Stars but failed to make the final cut. He now plays his football in Cyprus.
5. Junior Agogo
Unlike the others on this list, Agogo was actually born in Ghana. He was raised in London and began his career at Sheffield Wednesday. To date, the 31-year-old’s career has taken in 15 clubs. He’s most recently popped up at Danish side OB. He is by far the most established international on this list, having played at the 2008 African Cup of Nations and bagged 12 goals in 27 caps.
Honourable mentions: Elvis Hammond (Ghana-born, raised in England, one cap) and James Harper, who shunned a pre-2006 World Cup call-up because he didn’t feel Ghanaian enough (his mother moved to England at the age of three).
On the basis of that list, it’s safe to say Ghana have come a long way in the last five years or so!