This edition of ‘History book’ is inspired by Alex Iwobi’s wonder strike in Everton’s 1-2 loss to Manchester United on Sunday evening in the English Premier League.
The Midfielders goal which will likely get on the nomination list for EPL goal of the month of October, was delivered in front of Iwobi’s uncle Jay-Jay Okocha himself a manufacturer of magical moments during his playing career.
In this edition of ‘History book’, Nsikakabasi Akpan presents a throwback of Jay Jay Okocha’s best goals, one of them , a 40 yard strike vs West Ham which won the Bolton Wanderers goal of the season award for the 2002/2003 season.
BOLTON 1-0 WEST HAM
It was on April 19, 2003, a relegation dog-fight between struggling Bolton Wanderers and West Ham at the Reebok Stadium as it was known.
38th minutes into the game, Okocha received a pass from teammate Ivan Campos in his own half, raced forward before unleashing a 40-yard belter past English goalkepeer David James.
That goal won the game for Sam Allardyce tutored Bolton Wanderers and was significant to their English Premier League survival that season.
The goal vs West Ham was one of the Nigerian Midfielders seven goals for the Trotters in the 2002/2003 season. So good it was that the fans voted it as the best goal of the season.
THE PHENOMENAL JAY-JAY
Okocha, famed for his sublime skills, dribbles, range of passing and exceptional set piece ability is ranked as the best to have played for Bolton Wanderers in an EPL online poll.
This rating is endorsed by Bolton’s legendary manager Sam Allardyce who led the club to great heights before his departure in 2008.
Allardyce said of the best player he worked with at Bolton Wanderers ” I think probably the one who stood out the most for everybody was Jay-Jay Okocha, ”
” Because of his ability and skill, and the entertainment that he actually brought to the Premier League, not just for Bolton fans of course. ” the former England manager stated .
Bolton Wanderers lost their top flight status in the 2011/2012 season. Ten years after, the Trotters are now campaigning in League One and a shadow of the team Okocha once turned out for .
OKOCHA AND FANTASTIC GOALS
In over 500 career games, Jay-Jay Okocha scored 115 times. 80% of his goals came from somewhat unexpected situations and so were ranked Fantastic.
Now 49 (2022), Okocha holds fond memories of this goals with regular mentions of his first goal for PSG vs Boardeux in the French Ligue One and the goal for Eintract Frankfurt in 1993 that left legendary German goalkepeer Oliver Kahn and five defenders grounded .
“That goal changed my life and made me famous,” Okocha told Kicker in 2021. “Outside of Germany too, because it caused a lot of publicity.
“To be honest, I didn’t plan on holding the ball that long! But whenever I looked up to shoot I saw someone in front of me. So I kept dribbling until I saw a gap. It took longer than planned, but in the end I was overjoyed when the ball was in the net.
” That was the best goal of my career.” Okocha said.