Connect with us


Ebonyi: Fans celebrate ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha at 50



Some fans of former Super Eagles skipper, Augustine Okocha, popularly called, Jay-Jay, on Monday felicitated the midfield impressario as he clocked the quinquagenarian age of 50. It was reported that the dribbling wizard was born on Aug.14, 1973 in Enugu.

Okocha began his football career with Rangers International Club of Enugu and made his maiden appearance for the country at the U-20 AFCON in the island country of Mauritius, in January 1993.

A cross-section of his fans, who spoke with our reporter in Abakaliki on Monday, said that Jay-Jay deserved to be celebrated for a life dedicated to the service of his fatherland.

They said that he brought joy to his fans and lovers of the round-leather game across the globe.

Emmanuel Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to former Gov. David Umahi, described Jay-Jay as “easily Nigeria’s most celebrated player on national team honours”.

Uzor said: “Jay-Jay won gold at the I994 AFCON and the 1996 Olympic Games, a silver medal at AFCON 2000 and bronze medal at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 AFCONS.

“He was the mainstay of the squad which ensured the country’s first World Cup appearance in 1994 and a top-notch player in France 1998.”

A member of the Board of Ebonyi Football Association, Ikenna Odo, described Okocha as “a skills workshop”, who kept fans at the edge of their seats each time he was in action.

“Pa Jay was described by the late football icon, Pele, as one of the greatest footballers to have existed and his skills brought such global  review to him.

“It is a fact that the country has not found his replacement upon his retirement in 2006, with the Super Eagles fortunes dropping since then,” he said.

Rangers Media Officer, Nobert Okolie, said the club would always celebrate Okocha for bringing the name of Rangers to international limelight.

“Young Jay-Jay, alongside his elder brother, Emma, made waves in Rangers before he left for greener pastures in August, 1990.

“The Rangers’ family will never forget his goal from the centre circle against the defunct African Continental Bank (ACB) of Lagos, shortly before he left the country,” Okolie said.

Another soccer enthusiast, Chiaka Ejeh, hailed Okocha for “planning his life well, unlike many retired footballers, who cannot make ends meet.

“Okocha wisely invested the fortunes from his active days and has remained financially and socially afloat.

“He is still very fit and never fails to dazzle fans, while featuring in exhibition games across the globe,” Ejeh, a teacher, said.


Chukwuemeka Opara

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750