Christian Gyan: Former Ghana and Feyenoord defender dies

BY: Kweku Zurek
Christian Gyan: Former Ghana and Feyenoord defender dies

Former Ghana and Feyenoord defender Christian Attah Gyan has died at the age of 43.

His teammate and former Ivorian international, Bonaventure Kalou with whom he played for several seasons reported Gyan's death on Wednesday on Instagram.

Gyan joined Feyenoord from Gapoha in 1996 and was later loaned to Excelsior before he was recalled by coach Leo Beenhakker six months later.

At Feyenoord, he won the Dutch Eredivisie, a Johan Cruijff Shield and a UEFA Cup in 2002.

He made 93 appearances for Feyenoord and scored three goals. 

Gyan also played 23 times for Ghana's senior men's national team, the Black Stars.

Financial troubles and ill health

After his retirement in 2010, Gyan struggled financially owing to the medical bills of his seriously ill son, Montel and his generosity towards anyone that asked him for help.

However, he recovered somewhat from his financial troubles after a Feyenoord sponsor gave him a job at the port of Rotterdam.

Feyenoord's supporters also raised thousands of euros for him and bestselling author Michel van Egmond wrote a book titled the King, the proceeds of which went to Gyan.

Gyan also reportedly suffered from seizures and had to stop working for that reason.

"Almost all people who work in the ports of Rotterdam are Feyenoord supporters," he said ten years ago in a candid interview with AD Sportwereld.

"They sometimes take a picture with me. We talk a lot about the time I 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."

Gyan also disclosed that he was very generous financially to anyone that asked him for help during his playing career.

"I have God in my heart, so I helped those people," he said.

“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 played for Feyenoord for eleven years and also played for Excelsior and several Finnish clubs but money never really interested him.

He once told AD Sportwereld. "You also have to be happy without a lot of money in the bank," he said. "I think simply: when you're dead, the money is still there."