In memory of Ethiopian football legend Mengistu Worku


Seven years ago one of Ethiopia’s greatest footballers, Mengistu Worku aka “Fitawrari” died here in Addis Ababa at the age of seventy. Blessed with a lethal left foot and a superb high header, the striker stands all time as the seventh highest scorer in the history of the African Cup of Nations with ten goals.
Mengistu who played for his entire career with Saint George, donning the now retired number eight jersey, is considered the best ever product of Ethiopian football with a chance to become a professional player in Italy or France except at the time there was an “Ethiopian Pride” sentiment common among many of his fellow countrymen.
The legendary footballer played for Saint George and the Ethiopian national team from 1959-74 with a record 68 goals in 151 international appearances including six African Nations Cup finals. He then coached Saint George, Electric, Ethiopia Medin and Ethiopian Air Lines. Mengistu was the only renowned footballer turned coach to lead Ethiopia to the 1987 African Nation’s Cup final in Libya.
Though a legendary footballer with a colorful enough career that his name deserved to be placed among Yedenekachew Tesema, Abebe Bikila and Mamo Wolde that, Mengistu appeared to have no one to remember him let alone have a statue as well a proper burial place reserved for Ethiopian Heroes at Trinity Cathedral.
It is now seven years since his death and neither his beloved club Saint George nor the Ethiopian Football Federation is ready to pay tribute to the great player who is survived with a wife and five children. Mengistu Worku is remembered by those who knew him a man fully alive.