Farewell to a great friend

Mohamed AliBy Mekonnen Gebrehiwot

I was shocked when I learned the passing of a great Ethiopian football player and one of the finest human beings that I have known throughout the years. Although Mohamed Ali (AKA Mo or Shedad) is no longer with us, I became at ease when I reflected on the memories he left us on the football pitch and the qualities of a decent and caring person he demonstrated throughout his life. In Ethiopia, Mo has reached the pinnacle of a successful football career representing his country of birth, Ethiopia, at the African continent level in addition to his success winning the Ethiopian Cup title twice with his club the Electric Sports Club. As a player, Mo was one of the stars players on his generation with his relentless run all over the field, providing crisp passes, creating attacking and goal scoring opportunities with his dazzling speed, choosing team success over individual accolades and netting goals at moments of need.

After he settled in America, I had the opportunity to continue our friendship when he became one of the founding members and coach of the Abebe Bikila Soccer Club of Los Angeles. Mo has remained a special individual who was easy to approach, always available to share his wisdom and football knowledge with respect, humility and dignity. I have never heard Mo complain about his past career keeping consistently an upbeat attitude and positive outlook about the future. It would be unfair to describe Mo’s life and career in such a brief column.

I will always remember Mo as a great friend, father, brother, mentor and coach. Mo, your legacy is intact. You will always be remembered fondly by your family, friends and all the people you touched on the football pitch and in life. Rest in Peace my good friend! Sooner or later, we will catch up with you and will continue our friendship in heaven.

Mekonnen Gebrehiwot

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