Former Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko star, Charles Asampong Taylor, has revealed for the first time that a supporter of Accra Great Olympics convinced him to adopt the name Charles Taylor when he was about to sign for the club because it would make him easily recognisable.
Without giving it much thought, the talented youngster traded his original name of Kweku Asampong for the adopted name which he has maintained since joining the Wonder Club in 1999.
Over two decades after acquiring a new identity, the retired footballer explained to the Graphic Sports how and why he traded the name he had been identified with since childbirth for the same name as onetime Liberian warlord.
Taylor, who is now an ordained pastor after hanging up his boots in 2015, also revealed that he was named after his grandfather, Kweku Asante, who was a tailor by profession and growing up at Sefwi Asanwiso in the Western Region, he was nicknamed Kweku Tailor by his grandfather’s clients.
As if by design, Kweku Tailor became known many years later as Charles Taylor, the supremely talented footballer who struck fear in opposing sides just like the dreaded Liberian rebel leader.
“Before I registered for Olympics in 1999, one of their fans who traded in bath sponge told me one day at the our training grounds that I was a good player but my name Kwaku Tailor was not a typical football name so I should change it to make me very popular. He then suggested I used Charles as my first name and change the Tailor to Taylor since the name Charles Taylor was more popular and would resonate better with the media and fans.
“I took his counsel and that was how I changed by name from Kwaku Asampong Tailor to Charles Taylor,” explained the player who won the African Champions League, the CAF Super Cup and three Premier League titles with Hearts before landing at Kotoko under controversial circumstances.
Taylor admitted that he innocently adopted the new identity and used it to resister for Olympics without thinking through it or consulting his family or advisor because he felt it sounded better and would make him easily recognisable.