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On this day in 2002: Okocha moves to Premier League

18 Jun 2019
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Watch the Nigerian's best skills and goals in the competition 17 years since joining Bolton

It's 17 years to the day since one of the most skilful players to ever grace the Premier League made his move to the competition.

Jay Jay Okocha signed for Bolton Wanderers on 18 June 2002 and dazzled fans with his flicks, step-overs and unique individual style.

He became the sixth Nigerian to play in the Premier League, following Efan EkokuAde Akinbiyi, Celestine Babayaro, Kanu and Shola Ameobi, in a list that now comprises 20 players including Okocha's nephew, Alex Iwobi.

"My Nigerian colleagues gave me a good impression of the Premiership and I am glad to be here," said Okocha after signing on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.

Changing perceptions

Sam Allardyce was the man who brought the-then 28-year-old to Bolton, saying Okocha would change the way people viewed the club.

"Jay Jay has a great pedigree," said Bolton's manager. "He has flair, ability and huge experience.

"Our ambition is to bring the best-quality players we can to show we are trying to progress in the right way. Now we have signed Jay Jay hopefully one or two people will pay more attention to Bolton."

Okocha went on to make 124 Premier League appearances for Bolton between 2002 and 2006, scoring 14 goals and writing his name into competition folklore.

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