Don Bortey – The legend that never was

With an astounding record of scoring against Kumasi Asante Kotoko for 12 consecutive seasons in the Ghanaian league, and arguably one of the fiercest wingers during his era, Bernard Don Bortey will forever go down as one of Ghana’s greatest unsung heroes to grace the pitch.

Don Bortey with his dyed hair during his early years with Hearts

Born on 22 September, 1982 Bortey began his career in the year 2000 with Tema- based Ghapoha FC after excelling with the Ghana U-17 squad that represented the country in the 1999 FIFA World Cup in New Zealand, where he played 6 games and scored 3 goals.
Bortey later moved to Accra Hearts of Oak SC and became an integral part of the fearsome “64 Battalion,” combining with Charles Asampong Taylor, Ishmael Addo, and Emmanuel Osei Kuffour to form one of the deadliest fronts in the Ghanaian league.

Don Bortey in 2004 during the GHALCA organised Coca Top 4 competition

With several accolades such “Dong Dada Diouf” a reference to Senegalese forward, El Hadji Diouf, due to a similar style of play and his dyed hair, “The Humble Lion” and the “Serial Killer,” Bortey warmed his way into an already ferocious Accra Hearts of Oak squad that tormented every opponent that crossed their path.

 

In 2002, he was loaned to Al Wasl FC in Dubai, where he played for 6 months. He returned in June 2002 to Hearts of Oak where he won the league under the tutelage of late Herbert Addo and shared the Top Scorer award with Charles Asampong Taylor.

His outstanding performance earned him a call up into the senior national team, the Black Stars, where he played twenty-seven games and scored nine times; his last game being the qualifying stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Don Bortey training with the Black Stars in 2004

But the startling career of the “Serial Killer” took a nose dive when he fell out with the Phobians to seek greener pastures at Al Wasl FC, a club based in the United Arab Emirates on loan. He returned to help Hearts of Oak to win the maiden CAF Confederations Cup in 2005 and later went back to Bnei Sakhnin F.C. in Israel.

Don Bortey in Sweden to begin career with ANGE IF in Sweden

With his sight still set on an European return, Bortey came back to have a brief stint with Ghana Premier League side- New Edubiase- before joining ‘The Panthers’ in Equatorial Guinea. His dream finally came to fruition when Swedish side- ANGE IF- agreed to sign him on in 2015.

Don Bortey currently with Samartex FC in the Western Region

Now without a club and refusing to give up on his career despite his age, insisting he’s still got enough footballing years ahead of him, Don Bortey has currently joined former Kotoko striker, Alex Asamoah, on a short-term deal with Samartex FC, a Division One club in the Western Region of Ghana.

 

Weekend Today Sports

…with Gottlieb Baako

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