Ex-Ghana defender Christian Gyan dies at age 43

Former Black Stars player Christian Gyan has died following a prolonged battle with cancer.

The 43 year old started his football career at Gapoha before joining Feyenoord in 1996 and then later Excelsior.

He also lifted several laurels with the club, including the Eredivisie title, the Johan Cruijff Shield and the UEFA Cup.

Gyan’s death was confirmed by former teammate Bonaventure Kalou on Instagram, Kalou wrote: “Rest well my brother you fought hard, my heart goes to Anita and the Kids…”

Gyan went through a difficult period after his retirement in 2010 and was open about his illness and financial struggles.

He later secured a job at the port of Rotterdam thanks to the help of a Feyenoord sponsor, while the club’s fans also raised funds for him.

In a previous interview with AD Sportwereld 10 years ago, Gyan disclosed how well the fans of Feyenoord treated him when he worked at the port.

“Almost all people who work in the ports of Rotterdam are Feyenoord supporters. They sometimes take a picture with me,” he said, as quoted by the Graphic Sports.

“We talk a lot about the time. I still played in De Kuip I know that what I experienced is something that people dream of all their lives I stood on the field in a sold-out De Kuip I won prizes with a great club No one is too big for the harbor, why would I be? Because I was a footballer? That’s just a job.”

On his financial struggles, Gyan said: “I have God in my heart, so I helped those people. But at some point the money just ran out. I was a victim of my own goodness.

“We didn’t think when there was money and we helped others. Only after everything was gone did I start thinking. I had a wonderful time at Feyenoord. I saved all the highlights in scrapbooks.

“I am proud that I was there and I feel that there is still a lot of appreciation for my achievements in Rotterdam. But I never feel more than anyone else. Why would I?”

Gyan is said to have battled with seizures which forced him to quit working at the port after his retirement.