Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Mengistu Worku 70, Ethiopia’s greatest footballer of all time and the last head coach who took the Ethiopian national football team to the African Nations Cup in Libya in 1982, has died here today.
Mengistu recently returned home after undergoing medical treatment in Bangkok, Thailand for the two years.
The 3rd African Cup winner has been in Bangkok for two years undergoing medical treatment but his condition has worsened. Mengistu was said to have returned home along with a medical doctor and special medical equipments for follow-up treatment.
Saint George FC’s patron, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has covered all the medical expenses for the legendary player.
Mengistu spent his entire club playing career for Saint George FC, where he started at the age of 16. He played 98 times for the Ethiopian national team and scored a record 61 goals. He played a pivotal role in helping Ethiopia win its only African Nations Cup when the third edition was held here in 1962. As a player, Mengistu has taken part in 6 African Nations Cup tournaments (1959-1970) and scored 10 goals.
After he retired from playing, Mengistu took up coaching where he served as head of St. George, Ethiopian Airlines and EEPCO among others and he is the last Ethiopian coach to take a team to the African Nations Cup when it was held in Libya in 1982.
Mengistu was a complete player. He can dribble and pass precise balls. His left foot was as lethal as his right, and he had such an incredible jumping and heading ability for a player who was not that tall.
A fearless warrior, who sacrificed his body and was often victim of vicious tackles from defenders who cannot control him.
According to Saint George FC Public Relations’ statement, his funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 4pm at the Petros & Paulos Church here in the capital.
EMF is deeply saddened to hear the death of one of Africa’s greatest footballers and an Ethiopian hero. Our condolences to the family.