Former Black Stars player Papa Arko explains How smoking ‘shaped’ his football career.

Ernest Papa Arko, a renowned figure in the history of Asante Kotoko, recently shared an intriguing insight about his playing days. Affectionately known as “Soccer Bob Marley,”

Arko revealed that smoking cigarettes actually aided him in analyzing his performance after matches. However, he clarified that he indulged in smoking only after the games and not prior to them.

During an interview with Dan Kwaku Yeboah TV on YouTube, Arko explained that smoking after matches provided him with a unique perspective on how the game unfolded, allowing him to assess his own contribution more effectively.

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“I’ve smoked before. While I was playing, I preferred after the match. From what I knew, if you smoke it makes you feel a bit dull, but (if you do it) after a match, you get to notice the wrong and right things that went on. You use it to analyze to know what to do next time,” he said.
When asked how he got the habit, he said he got influenced in school and by some senior colleagues at Kotoko.

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“School influenced me and also I knew some senior players that I served (who also smoked). So you begin to wonder is because of the weed they play well or what? And I wanted to be like them so let me try. They were top players. My uncle, Joe Sam is one of them…It was also school life.”
He further mentioned that he is still in the act because it relieves him of stress and pressure.

“I still smoke. I can’t stop. This time it helps me think and besides that, I smoke to let go of thinking that I don’t want to worry about. So helps me not to be stressed and overburdened by unnecessary pressure.”
Papa Arko was a midfielder for Asante Kotoko from the 1970s to the 1980s. He captained the team that won the African Cup of Champions Clubs (CFA Champions League) in 1983.
He played for the club twice and is one of the club’s most adored former players.

Watch the Full Interview Below: