How football legend Austin Okocha got the ‘Jay Jay’ moniker added to his name

How football legend Austin Okocha got the ‘Jay Jay’ moniker added to his name

Kayode BADMUS

”Jay-Jay – so good they named him twice”, was a popular phrase amongst English football fans particularly Bolton Wanderers supporters who had a cult like follower-ship for this Nigerian legend.

Born Augustine Azuka Okocha, the enigmatic talented football star rose to stardom winning hearts both home and abroad. His name remains in the annals of history in many football cities in Europe and beyond from Germany to Turkey, France to England and even farther in the Arabian peninsula. His football prowess was too good to be ignored.

While Okocha has been mentioned as one of the greatest footballers to come out of Africa, many do not know where his alias, Jay Jay emanated from.

A long time before Okocha became the darling of everyone, long before he took to the streets of Enugu, he had an elder brother who was the first footballer from his family.

James Okocha was a local star who was nicknamed Jay Jay by his pairs. Along the line, his immediate younger brother, Emmanuel also started playing and the football world also referred to him as Jay Jay.

However, the Jay Jay toga would be taken global by a younger Okocha, the duo’s youngest brother, Augustine whose deft touches and skillful play endeared everyone to him.

It wasn’t a coincidence that Austin Okocha would go on to become not just one of the greatest Nigerian footballers ever but an African legend who stands head to head with other global stars many of whom have confessed their admiration for Okocha’s style.

It is ironical that his famous nickname is actually one passed by his bloodline.

Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha turns 50 in August. The man is so good they named him twice.

editor

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