There have been some mixed fortunes for Bolton Wanderers’ Nigerians who range from club legends to forgettable figures.
Unlike his younger brother Sammy, Foluwashola was born in Nigeria as opposed to Newcastle. Shola played for his adopted nation England at under 21 level making 20 appearances. Then, almost a decade after this, he represented the country of his birth making 10 appearances for Nigeria.
Shola of course spent a lot of his career at Newcastle making over 300 appearances. If memory serves from when I looked at him previously, link I haven’t bothered reading but you might want to here, he has an impressive record of scoring against their rivals Sunderland.
For Bolton Shola scored on his debut against Leeds United and would go on to make 8 appearances before his short term contract ended. Due to the transfer embargo Bolton were under at the time the club was unable to take up his offer to play for free. It’s an odd world isn’t it, a club with no money not being allowed to have someone play for them for nothing but never mind. He is now playing for Notts County under former Wanderer, and I would hope future Bolton manager after Phil Parkinson in sensationally offered the Real Madrid job after getting Bolton back into Europe, Kevin Nolan.
The midfielder had something of a journeyman career.
He represented 13 clubs during his career, never staying anywhere long or making all that many appearances. His solitary appearance for Bolton is not exactly enough to make him notable at the club, the whole Steven inquiry thing is maybe more notable in a Bolton context. He made a list of the 25 worst Premier League midfielders which can be found here and boasts more than one former Wanderer.
He did appear for the Super Eagles, but only on a handful of occasions as rather like his domestic career his international one never really took off.
At the time of writing this Obasi has only appeared for the development squad. If he has made it into the first team by this point then yes I am too lazy to update this so deal with it. He has, again at the time of writing which was a while ago, shown some good form for the development squad so it will be interesting to see if he can make an impact with the first team.
Obasi has appeared for Nigeria 18 times netting 4 goals. He was part of the Olympic team in Beijing in 2008 which win silver and he was part of the 2010 side which finished third in the African Cup of nations. The most notable club side he has played for is Schalke 04 and his career has also taken in spells in China, Sweden and Norway.
Jay Jay Okocha
The man himself. We all know about Augustine’s time at Bolton coinciding with one of the most exciting and successful periods in the clubs recent history. I’m going to gloss over that and instead look solely at his international exploits.
The peak while representing his country may have arguably come as early as 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic games where Nigeria won the gold medal. He was also involved in the 1994 African Cup of Nations winning squad. Nigeria though always struggled at World Cups never getting beyond the early stages of these tournaments. Okocha mind would always catch the eye while playing for his country and would become the captain of the national side while playing for Bolton. From our perspective it is a shame they did not get knocked out quicker as we did miss Okocha during the 2004 tournament after his match winning display against Aston Villa in the League Cup semi-final first leg.
There is much symbolism in this man’s name when it comes to his time at Bolton. He made only 10 appearances for the club after arriving for over £2 million. All of these appearances came during his first season for the club as we tried but failed to offload him after this point. His four appearances on the bench the following season told the story as he played mainly in the reserve team which also boasted the defensive prowess of Nicky Hunt.
At £2 million Gary Megson’s signing cost the club £200,000 per an appearance, before wages. Hardly a great return on a fairly large investment.