Hundreds of people including Ghana’s president are paying their last respects to Christian Atsu, who died in last month’s earthquake in Turkey.
His funeral is being held outside State House in Ghana’s capital, Accra.
“In life I love you darling, in death I’ll do the same,” read the tearful tribute from the footballer’s widow, Marie-Claire Rupio.
She was overcome with emotion and handed her speech to Atsu’s sister to read.
“You did not go alone, for part of me went with you,” it continued. “Your smile, your love I see in our children’s smiles.”
READ ALSO: Christian Atsu Cancelled Flight Leaving Turkey Hours Before Death
Representatives of Ghana’s national team and Atsu’s Turkish club Hatayspor were also at the ceremony.
Atsu’s body was recovered a fortnight after the quake from the rubble of his apartment building.
It was returned to Ghana almost a month ago. He will be buried later in his home village in south-eastern Ghana.
Atsu, 31, spent most of his career playing in the English Premier League for clubs including Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton.
He also made 65 appearances for Ghana, and helped the national side reach the finals of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea – where he was awarded goal and player of the tournament.
Many Ghanaians have told the BBC that Atsu will be remembered for his love for humanity, and for supporting the underprivileged in the country.
READ ALSO: He Paid My School Fees When I Lost My Dad – Craze Clown Mourns Christian Atsu
Hundreds of mourners and well-wishers filed past Atsu’s body on Tuesday to say their farewells.
Drumming and brass bands have been part of the colourful cultural display at an otherwise solemn event.
Trending video of the day;
Photo Credit: Getty