by: michael eli dokosi/www.blakkpepper.com/ghana
Former Ghanaian International, Manuel Junior Agogo suffered a stroke two years after retiring from football but it’s only now, his story has come out thanks to a documentary.
The former Nottingham Forest and Bristol Rovers player says he had gone for a jog with his dog and was returning home when he felt dizzy and passed out in January 2015 only to find himself in a hospital with his mother by his side but without the ability to speak.
With the stroke, came Aphasia; an impairment of language affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write.
The BBC Four documentary titled “Speechless” also revealed Agogo’s condition led him to socially isolate himself often opting to stay in bed as he lacked confidence.
Agogo claims his friends have not been in touch since his stroke including Black Stars team mates. He enjoyed a cult following during his 27-game stint with the Black Stars of Ghana scoring 12 goals and helping them reach third place in the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile former Ghana top goalie and current Black Stars goalkeeping coach, Richard ‘Olele’ Kingson has apologised for the neglect.
“Personally, he is a good friend – when we were in the national team, especially [during Afcon] 2008, we were together as good friends but along the line, I lost his contact. I also feel sorry for him. I’ll just encourage him to move on, help himself to be stronger than before so that he can overcome the sickness. I will like to apologize [on behalf of] some of the players because some of the players also talk to him. So those who don’t have the privilege to talk to him, I will take the opportunity to stand on behalf of them and apologize to Junior Agogo and his family [for] neglecting him at this point, Olele rendered.
According to the BBC report, two years after his stroke, Agogo is still visiting the Neuro Rehab Unit of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London’s Queen Square as he battles to find his way in the world with depleted language.
Although Agogo is able to talk for some time, he, however, loses his tread while speaking and that bothers him a lot.
‘I had thoughts but I’m saying, where was my voice? I was baffled, man,’ Agogo revealed.
He is on the road to recovery though, enjoying physical health as he is hits the gym often and continues to jog.
Agogo, 38, began his career with the Owls, playing three games for the then Premier League side between 1997 and 2000. He went on to score over 100 career goals, his most notable spell coming with Bristol Rovers, for whom Agogo scored 45 goals in 140 games between 2003 and 2006.