Jay Jay Okocha was born in Enugu, Nigeria, on the 14th day of August 1973. He was only a youth player at his hometown in Enugu State for a while before crossing over to Europe to build his career. Other famous footballers that have played for Enugu Rangers includes Taribo West and John Utaka.
SO GOOD, THEY NAMED HIM TWICE
His real name is Augustine Azuka Okocha, but after a while in europe, he got the nickname “jay-jay” due to his mesmerising and breathe-taking style of play.
Also Read: The solution to Nigeria’s Midfield problems
Austin “jay-jay” Okocha moved to Germany in 1990 and played in the German leagues until 1996. He began his career in 1990 at Borussia Neunkirchen before he got snapped up by Eintracht Frankfurt in 1992 after thrilling German footballs fans all over the country with his trickery and eye for goal.
￼He later crossed over to Turkish giants Fenerbahce in 1996 where he became even more prolific in front of goal, and was an integral part of the famous side that beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in the 1997-98 Champions League season.
￼Incredibly, Okocha managed to put his name on the score sheet 30 times in only 63 appearances for the Turkish club. An average of 1 goal every 2.1 games which is an undoubtedly phenomenal statistic for a midfielder.
￼He was an integral part of the Nigerian team that won gold in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. He made 75 appearances in the national colours, netting 14 times in the process. He was eventually made the national team’s skipper and also earned a move to Paris Saint Germain in France where he was under-studied by one of Brazil’s finest trick bags, Ronaldinho Gaucho.
￼He featured for Bolton Wanderers from 2002 after the World Cup in Korea and Japan, until 2006, making more appearances for the English side (124) than that of his previous clubs. He then went on to play in the Middle East for a year before returning to England to link up again with former Bolton Wanderers assistant manager Phil Brown at Hull City.
Altogether, Okocha managed to hit the back of the net 99 times for both club and country in a total of 530 appearances. Most of these goals are unforgettable coupled with his tremendous ability on the ball. He will be remembered as one of the greatest footballers to emerge from the continent of Africa.