Ghanaian footballer Raphael Dwamena passed away on the field during an Albanian Superliga match between FK Egnatia and Partizani. The tragedy unfolded in the 23rd minute of the game, leaving the football community in shock and mourning.
Dwamena, a former academy player for Red Bull Salzburg, had represented Ghana with pride, earning nine caps between 2017 and 2018. Despite his promising talent, his career had been marred by persistent heart issues, which had previously led to a failed €11.4 million move to Premier League club Brighton in 2017.
The talented striker’s professional journey took him from Red Bull Ghana to clubs in Austria, including Austria Lustenau and FC Zürich, where he showcased his prowess by scoring 21 goals in 51 games during the 2017-18 season. However, his rising career was overshadowed by the discovery of a heart condition in 2017, preventing the completion of the Brighton transfer.
In 2020, while playing for Spanish club Levante, Dwamena had an implantable cardiovascular-defibrillator (ICD) fitted, similar to the device used by Christian Eriksen. The ICD was meant to monitor his heart during games, but challenges persisted. A move to Danish club Vejle Boldklub in October 2020 was halted due to elevated ICD values.
Despite calls from medical professionals, including Dr. Prince Pambo, for Dwamena to consider retirement, he pressed on. A collapse on the field in Austria in October 2021 marked the end of his career in the country, but Dwamena sought a fresh start with Albanian Superliga club FK Egnatia in 2023.
Tragically, on Saturday, November 11, during a crucial match, Dwamena collapsed once again. Despite efforts to resuscitate him and the presence of the ICD, which had saved him before, this time, the talented striker couldn’t be revived. The football world mourns the loss of a player who, despite facing adversity, continued to pursue his passion for the game.