Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Augustine ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha
Perhaps one of Africa’s greatest footballers, without doubt the most entertaining footballer that Africa has ever produced, Jay-Jay is listed in football legend Pelé's FIFA 100 (a list of the greatest 125 living players of all time).
Born in Enugu, Okocha started his soccer career with hometown club, Enugu Rangers International In 1992 Okocha joined Eintracht Frankfurt where he linked up with many well-known players including Ghanaian international striker Tony Yeboah, German keeper Thomas Ernst and later Thomas Doll.
In 1996, Okocha joined Turkish giants Fenerbahçe following Eintracht Frankfurt's relegation to Bundesliga 2. While at Fenerbahçe he became a Turkish citizen.
In 1998 French side PSG splashed around $24 million on Okocha, making him the most expensive African player at the time.
Okocha joined Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer after leaving PSG in the summer of 2002. He quickly became a favourite with the Bolton fans, with the team printing shirts with the inscription "Jay-Jay - so good they named him twice".
As captain he led Bolton to their first cup final in nine years where they finished runners-up in the 2004 Football League Cup. Okocha also played in Qatar and for Hull City. JJ played 75 times for Nigeria.
Okocha is retired. He is married to Nkechi and they have two children Danielle and A-Jay. Okocha owns a bar in Lagos named Number 10.