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Bolton Wanderers v Hull: Played for Both - Jay Jay Okocha

What a man, what a mighty good man

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Augustine Azuka "Jay-Jay" Okocha is one of the most famous players of the past twenty years in world football.

This isn't typical Wanderers fan hyperbole - it's probably the most truthful statement I've made in ages.

To think that he played for little old Bolton Wanderers is one thing, but to then consider that he also played for today's opponents Hull City as well is quite another.

Born in Nigeria in 1973, the young Okocha began his career at Borussia Neunkirchen in 1990, before moving on to Eintracht Frankfurt two years later. Making his name as an extravagantly talented attacking midfielder, he would then head to Turkey in search of fame and fortune.

Following Frankfurt's relegation, he joined Fenerbahçe for a bargain £1m, and went on to notch 30 goals in two seasons at the club - cementing his reputation as a free-kick specialist.

In 1998 he joined Paris Saint-Germain for £14m, which was a record for an African player at the time. He spent four years in the city, making 84 appearances and scoring 12 times playing alongside the great Ronaldinho, for a time.

It was a huge shock then when in 2002 the out-of-contract Okocha chose his next club - Bolton Wanderers. Under the management of Sam Allardyce, he scored seven goals in his debut season helping the club avoid relegation from the Premier League. He was appointed captain the season after.

He left the club in 2006, moving to the Middle East to play for Qatar SC. He had amassed 14 goals in 124 games for Bolton - the most he made for any club during his illustrious career. He left behind some fantastic memories and world-class moments whilst at Bolton, including this brilliant free kick which has never been bettered, in my opinion - and remains the greatest free kick of all time:

Brilliant stuff.

After just one season in Qatar, today's visitors, Hull City signed Okocha on a free transfer, turning down moves to both Real Salt Lake and Sydney FC. He was reunited at Hull with his former Bolton coach Phil Brown.

Injuries stopped him playing a huge part in their season, making only 18 appearances without scoring.

Despite that, Hull still succeeded in being promoted the Premier League, for the first time in their 104-year history. At the end of the season, after changing his mind on a proposed retirement due to Hull's promotion, he was released by the club, which sent him into retirement.

He also scored 14 goals in 75 games for Nigeria, many as captain after making his debut in 1993, with his final appearance for the Super Eagles coming in 2006.


Borussia Neunkirchen
Saarland Cup: 1990, 1992
Oberliga Südwest: 1991

Chancellor Cup: 1998
Atatürk Cup: 1998

Paris Saint-Germain
Trophée des Champions: 1998
UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001

Bolton Wanderers
League Cup: Runner-Up 2004

Hull City
Football League Championship play-off: 2008

Nigeria National team
African Cup of Nations: 1994
Afro-Asian Cup of Nations: 1995
Olympic Games: 1996