John Bass “A healthy nation is a wealthy nation” 

Quite often footballers are faced with life changing situations in the forms of cancer battle, depression, suicide, car accident but John’s battle is unique 

John Bass was born in Lamin and did his career in Lamin before joining Ports Authority and Brikama United respectively. He played for Daranka United, Jattas FC, Lamin Zonal team and went on in Lamin’s third and second division teams. 

John Bass who was always ready to learn, attracted the love of the coaches when his Daranka United reached the Semi-final of the Lamin nawettan, they didn’t claim the title but he was certified as the Most Outstanding Player of the Nawettan. That group had discipline to the core as they also won the most disciplined team, a character that was portrayed in John playing career. A testimony from Coach Alagie Sarr, Tapha Manneh, Saul Kuyateh, Momodou Bah, Faks Barrow and Wattaman attested as a player who is very disciplined, humble and a fantastic player. He was solid said Momodou while Sol Kuyateh said he was always ready to learn.

John Bass played for his town team Lamin Utd for two years and decided to go to Senegal but his uncle linked with Kaba Ceesay, where he had trials with him and came to the conclusion to take him to Ports Authority and the know how of contract was kept as a secret in the following weeks. 

What was communicated to Lamin United players was Ports were to come for trials and will select one player. Everybody was excited and gave all but he was the chosen one. 

While at Ports where he spent four seasons, his first match was against Jaaraf(Senegal) in a Caf Confederation preliminary rounds match. He would later replace an injured player to play the double tier. 

He later returned back home after parting ways with the Custom boys. He played Nawettan then zonals and both Armed Forces and Gamtel came in 2014 , after some counselling he joined Brikama United.

“I had good time in Ports, said John as he recalled his first days with the Sateba boys. “I was warmly and nicely welcome to Brikama United. He took that advantage to work harder to repay the fans faith. The coaches were very helping if you look at the core of the team they were the then players. Fans were special it was a very conjuice environment”. 

Their success came when they won the FA cup against Bombada United. Bombada were city rivals , the atmosphere was electric John Bass recalled . “I gave my all on that game” . The next final was against Armed Forces and they lost. It was terrible. He can’t remember when he shed a tear after match as much as that day. 

The left-back/ Centre-back would later joined the national team under the stewardship of 

Sang Ndong who took him to Morroco for ten days training camp. He was later selected to represent the Gambia at the CHAN and I came in the 2nd half against Ghana. 

Turning point 

June/July 2018 was a turning point in for John’s career. It was a twist , as he was diagnosed with hypertension and later kidney failure. He recalled ” I was seeing some symptoms that I would not understand. I was strong and thought between one to two weeks I would recover. I put all my faith in God . It didn’t weigh me down. I used to have lots of calls and some will just call to cry. That was a wake up call because it show me that people believe in me”.

Tom Saintfiet asked after John in his first training after his name was drafted to report for national team duties but was told he was sick, the Belgium tactician requested them to send him prayers. All along John told himself that he recover but he is still fighting.

John was later be flown to India for a surgery and recovery. “Am grateful and equally thankful to the GFF ie president Kaba Bajo, The Gambia government under the Ministry of health, Brikama United and my village Lamin. Their input, care and answer to my call have helped alot”. John would later be donated a kidney. “According to the doctors, they will monitor him for six months then even up to a year. Hopefully I can make a comeback to the beautiful game”. 

What Next ? 

“If I share my experience I may save a life. Most of the players don’t know much about their diet. I deem it necessary to share my experience. It’s very rare for Gambians to go for check up unless you are sick and some sicknesses can be dorman without realizing it. It’s part of nation building and a healthy nation is a healthy nation. You can still donate a kidney and live life, I want to create awareness”.

“I am still strong, taking medicine and praying it won’t disturb me in the future .The diagnosis is growing in the Gambia, I learned that the hospital are having cases on daily bases”. 

John Bass Foundation for Kidney will be soon be launched to sensitize the community.

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