|Affiliation||Congress for Democratic Change
, , Liberia
|| October 01, 1966
Jan 22, 2018 10:27pm
|Info||About Ambassador George ‘Oppong’ Manneh Weah |
George Oppong Manneh Weah, a world-renowned soccer legend, has dedicated much of his life, time and resources to the passionate pursuit of humanitarian causes. He has always believed in the oneness of our world and has worked tirelessly to use his fame and global prestige to advance the causes of children, disadvantaged or marginalized people. This presents a bird’s eye view of this remarkable personality who believes his responsibility to humanity and his fellow countrymen is only just beginning.
George Weah was born on October 1, 1966 unto the union of Mr. William T. Weah, Sr. and Ms. Anna Quayeweah in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Liberia, a slum township called Clara Town in Monrovia. His paternal grandmother, Mrs. Emma Klonjlaleh Brown, whose memory he holds dear, raised him. He considers her his personal heroine.
While growing up, young George was influenced by his immediate surroundings. Like many other poor children, he was heavily involved with soccer, making the game his favorite pastime, playing it barefooted, on unpaved dusty rocky neighborhood patches of land. Soccer, for a very long time, was considered a game for abandoned and less fortunate children of the Liberian society and by all definitions, he was one. He was attracted to the game and soon showed incredible talents.
George Weah began schooling in the hope of liberating himself from the scourge of poverty. He attended middle school at Muslim Congress and continued at Wells Hairston High School. With all the difficulties of life, he was determined to carry on. He used his God given talents in soccer to win athletic scholarships as a means of funding his education. As he grew older, he played for many big soccer clubs in Liberia, starting as a goalie with Young Survivor, and later a player for Bong Range United, Mighty Barrolle and Invincible Eleven (IE) respectively, as a means of fending for himself and carrying on with life. He did all this while at the same time remaining as focused as he could on his educational pursuit.
While a student at Wells Hairston High, Weah attained semi-mastery of the game, which earned him the center stage at the IE Soccer Club. He led IE to national and international championship games and dazzled Liberians with his performance on the national team, the Lone Star. He helped IE clinch the 1986-87 Liberian National Championship shield, emerging as the Most-Valuable Player and Highest Goal-Scorer. During this time, Weah also had to take a job with the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LTC) as a Switch Board Technician, where he repaired and installed telephone services. He held this job until he left the country.
Having grown up feeling the pangs of poverty, Weah had an intense longing for early success. Like Tiger Woods who left Stanford University in pursuit of Golf, Weah had to choose between continuing his education and making soccer a career. He saw great promise in choosing soccer as a path to success, meanwhile continuing his education. By 1986, his legendary skills in soccer started showing, both nationally and sub-regionally and, by December of 1987, he was offered his first official soccer contract - to play for a Cameroonian Club, Tonnere.
Nelson Mandela’s description of George Weah as ”Africa’s Pride” cuts to the heart. He has worked to earn such praise. With all that has happened and continues to happen for him, he has never forgotten his roots nor his family and friends from Gibraltar, and all other places he has lived and played. Ambassador Weah’s life experiences have made him an even greater person.
Weah knew the apex of world soccer did not mean all for him. He had always wanted to give back to his community and to humanity. He became a voice for the disadvantaged, the homeless and the youth. On April 7, 1997, he became UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador. As Ambassador, he has supported HIV/AIDS and Educational programs in Liberia, Ghana and many other countries. In March 1998, Ambassador Weah and others launched a CD called LIVELY UP AFRICA. Proceeds from the CD went to support children’s program in Liberia and other countries. He was at the center of the disarmament and demobilization campaign in Liberia.
In 2004, he won the ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award and Great Britain’s Eagle International Achievers Award, a Nobel-style award, for his work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador last year. Ambassador Weah was most recently honored by the African Student Association of the University of Minnesota as their “African Hero” of 2005.
Ambassador Weah’s grandmother, now deceased, was always prayerful and raised him to be God-fearing, have strong moral values and, of good character. His growth and development are a fitting tribute to her teachings by his life’s example. It is without a doubt that Ambassador Weah’s humanitarian character and goodwill spring from the values instilled in him from this family matriarch, coupled with his prolonged exposure to poverty. He believes that giving back to humanity and to community is the central theme of his life.
During his career, Ambassador George Manneh Weah continued his education, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management from Parkwood University in London. He has also received several certificates and diplomas in Coaching and Sports Management. In 1999, an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanity was bestowed upon him by the A.M.E Zion University College in Liberia.
Ambassador Weah is happily married to Mrs. Clar Weah and is the father of three children: George Weah, Jr. Martha Weah and Timothy George Weah. The Weah family has family homes in Liberia and the USA.
AWARDS & TITLES
1987 Championship, Invincible Eleven (Liberia)
1988 Championship, Tonerre Clara Club, (Cameroon)
1988-1999 Captain, Liberian National Team- Lone Star
1989 African Player of the year
1991 French Cup Winner
1992 European Cup finalist
1993 French Cup Winner
1994 Championship, Paris St. Germaine (France)
1994 African Player of the year
1995 African Player of the year
1995 European Player of the Year
1995 World Best Player
1995 Onze Mondial Award
1995 FIFA Fair Play Award
1996 Championship, A. C. Milan (Italy)
1997-2000 Vice President International Affairs, Liberia Football
1999 Championship, A. C. Milan (Italy)
1999-2000 Technical Director, Liberian National Soccer Team, Lone
1999 Championship, A. C. Milan
1999-Present Member, FIFA Players Committee
2000 African Player of the Century
2000 English FA Cup, Chelsea
2004 Among FIFA’s 100 Greatest Players
2004 Ranked 20th Among New African Magazine’s 100 Greatest Africans
2004 ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award
2004 Great Britain’s Eagle International Achievers’ Humanitarian Award
2005 University of Minnesota African Student Association
African Hero 2005 Award