Daniel Amartey, Norwegian influence, Leicester legend Soo and a 101 year old fan, one strange path in football

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Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey was once coached by Per Mathias Høgmo, while at Swedish club Djurgården. Hogmo is today in charge of Norwegian third tier club Fredrikstad FK.

Høgmo featured yesterday in an interview by Norwegian TV2 where he met Fredrikstad FK super fan, 101 year old Miriam Isdal, who was present at their recent game v. Grorud, ending 0-0 and giving FFK a play off chance.

Høgmo met Miriam after the game and he gave the 101 year old a hug and also appreciated her presence, but she told him clearly that she wanted a new promotion for her team and really were looking for more prominent games in the future as she wanted to see her team as good as they were during a great time in the history of the club who in 1964 were coached to a league silver medal by former Leicester City player Frank Soo.

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Great to see football unite in this way and to see a person who probably were clearly present during the days of Soo in the mid 60’s and still following her club beyond 100 years of age.  The former Fredrikstad coach Frank Soo might not be well known for his days at Leicester City, never playing a single league game, just appearing in the FA Cup, and his stay was short, but he is famous from his days at Stoke City were he played alongside Stanley Matthews and also being capped as a so called “war international”. Soo is also known for being the first Asian in English football, since he is of Chinese origin.

Fredrikstad FK had a great team in the 60’s and Frank Soo returned to Norway in 1964 after earlier being in charge of the Norwegian national team for the 1952 Olympics. Soo has a legendary status in Scandinavia being part of a time were many teams in this region made great progress with Sweden’s national team being the main force, playing in the 1958 World Cup final, coached by Englishman George Reynor.

Høgmo also have a special record in football, with a cv including periods as Norwegian national coach both for women and men, winning Olympic gold with the women in 2000, in Sydney, and taking the men to the play-off’s for the 2016 Euro’s.

Hogmo coached Djurgården from May 2013 to end of the season, before taking over duties as head coach of Norway. Amartey had a clear role in the team and he really became a key player in the season you could describe as a “great escape”. During the time of Høgmo in charge European clubs became aware of Amartey and links to bigger clubs in Europe were seen, with Leicester City also then among those watching him.

Amartey continued his progress and in the summer of 2014 he made his move to FC Copenhagen, joining another Norwegian coach, Ståle Solbakken. Solbakken instantly gave Amartey a key role in the team and the progress continued, making his full debut for Ghana in 2015.

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After a great career progress with Danish club FC Copenhagen, winning the League and the Cup during his short spell. A fun fact is that Amartey, who joined Leicester City in January 2016, won the League in Denmark and England in the same season, and got two medals playing one half in each league.

The path of football is strange and via this 101 one year old women Tcf found connections to Leicester City in the strangest way. She was present when former Leicester City player Frank Soo coached her favorite team to a league silver medal, and she is there now, when Per Mathias Høgmo is in charge, also as Soo a former Norwegian national coach. Høgmo previously coaching Daniel Amartey now at Leicester City.

The paths to a Leicester City story can be many, this one might be one of those being called odd and rare, but this is not a rumor or fake news, it’s based on a very true and well documented story.

 

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