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Former Manchester United star ready to help Gambia

May 14, 2013, 10:28 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Former Manchester United and Atletico Madrid star Quinton Fortune, who is currently in the country for a visit, has said that it would be a pleasure for him to help the Gambian national team and players if he could.

“My life is football and I am willing to help,” he said.

The former South African international made these remarks yesterday, Monday, when he and members of DHL Express paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He says he hopes he can inspire the youth, adding that he wants to see more African players play for Manchester United.

Fortune added that it was a pleasure and honour for him to visit The Gambia, saying this trip would not be his last visit to The Gambia.

The 36-year-old, who is working on his coaching badges, urged the youth to have courage because it’s not easy, saying: “Keep working even at the most difficult time.”

Fortune, who left South Africa at the age of 14 and moved to England where he played for the Tottenham Hotspur junior team, noted that it is more than a dream for him to move to England at that age to play football.

The former Manchester United star remarked that it was beyond his dream to play for Manchester United, adding that he had talents but that leaving his family at the age of 14 was a sacrifice, and thanked his family.

Malang Jasseh, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports who deputized for the Minister, said they hope as a son of Africa, Fortune will continue to visit The Gambia, adding that he has made Africans proud by being among the first Africans to play for Manchester United.

“We hope the partnership with DHL will continue, he said, adding: “You are welcome to partner with us in trying to make Africa a better continent of football.” 

Ebou Faye, Managing Director, Independence Stadium, thanked DHL for bringing an African legend to The Gambia, noting that they will make best use of Fortune in every possible way during his stay in the country.

In The Gambia we have raw talents but it needs to be nurtured, Faye said, adding that football is about sacrifice, hard work and dedication.

The Gambia is still struggling to have its players play in the top four leagues of the world and also to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Other speakers on the occasion were Pa Suwareh Faye, acting-Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports; Claude Zocli, DHL Country Manager The Gambia, and Fabakary Touray, Development Officer, National Sports Council.