The emergence of football in Bawku can be traced to the 1930s according to eighty-two-year-old former soccer player of Bawku Highlanders Football Club who played active football within the boundaries of Bawku close to two decades. Alhaji Imoro Wuni also known as Manager, vividly recounted that it was during the days of his predecessors such as late Alhaji Dapore of blessed memory–who he acknowledged as one of the best players in the town at the time as well as late Mahama Saani–the best goalkeeper. During that period however, there was no organized football club per se in the town until the formation of Bawku Highlanders in the early 1950s by Dramani Sakande–father of former Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Hon. Adamu Dramani Sakande, both late. There was also another organized team founded around that time called Bawku Cornerstones by late Mei Kashua–a tailor from the Zongo community. These two pioneer teams with notable star players like Haruna Kobilla, Musah Yariga, Zakari Musah, Yamba Bukari, Imoro Wuni, Madi Pele, and Salifu to name but a few entertained the town folks with football skills and ignited their interest in the sport, thus bringing the game closer to the people.

The formation of Bawku Highlanders and Bawku Cornerstones seventy-four years ago was the inception of sports development in Bawku and in fact, the bedrock of organized football in the town. Inexcusably however, both teams were disbanded in 1962 by a famous politician at the time from Kusanaba in the Zebilla area called Asunda Ayeebo. He was member of the Convention People Party (CPP) of President Kwame Nkrumah, member of the Legislative Assembly and Minister of State during the First Republic. He also served as first Regional Minister for Upper Region (which is now Upper East Region). After collapsing Highlanders and Cornerstones for no apparent reason, two new soccer teams were formed and named Gbaagba and Kaasa (names chosen from his native Kusaal dialect) to replace the pioneer teams that existed for over a decade. Interestingly, players from Highlanders and Cornerstones transitioned into playing for either Gbaagba or Kaasa. Certainly, Asunda had nothing against the players or the beautiful game of football. Perhaps, he just wanted to project his ethnic identity and nothing against the owners of the clubs.

Four years later in 1966, a military coup d’etat occurred. The CPP government was ousted from absolute power and Asunda also lost political authority. Following that, Gbaagba and Kaasa instantly became defunct. Highlanders and Cornerstones were revived and regained their original name, independence, and paramountcy. A new football club also emerged that year from the Moshi community known as Yam-weogo and together with Highlanders and Cornerstones, these three teams reignited pure positive and unifying vibe among the people and without ethnic consideration.

They dominated the scene until mid-1970s when Akotex and Kadiogo football clubs also came into the scene and ended the life span of the threesome teams. However, by late 1980, Akotex and Kadiogo also gave way for a new generation in the sport. Bawku United F.C, Mandela F.C, and Antibiotics F.C–founded in that order in terms of seniority took over the baton from Akotex and Kadiogo football clubs. These three teams thus became the new sensations of football in the town and lasting a little over one decade with the late 1990s being the pinnacle of their existence.

Then came the 2000s which ushered in, yet another new era led by Wonderful Babies football club and a couple of other teams until in the 2010s when teams like Bawku AC Milan (currently a division-two team), Bawku Unity Stars (an academy), and Real Bawku United (a division-one team founded in 2015) by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central constituency and Minister for Youth and Sports at the time (Hon. Mahama Ayariga) also came into existence representing that generation. Unfortunately, Real Bawku United could not survive for long following a five-year ban on the club and its Directors by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for violating aspects of the Football Association (FA) regulations.

Notwithstanding the growth of football in Bawku since 1950s, sadly no team has ever made it to the Premier League. However, there is hope. Representing a new era in the history of football in Bawku, Bawku Royals is aspiring and determined to secure promotions to the premiership using a bottom-up approach. Support us!

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