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Jay-Jay Okocha proud of Wanderers legacy

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1 Jay-Jay Okocha proud of Wanderers legacy on Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:05 am

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Jay-Jay Okocha recently revealed his pride at the legacy he left at Bolton Wanderers after helping take Sam Allardyce’s side from Premier League strugglers to European candidates during his time at club.

A firm fan-favourite during his time at the club, the Nigerian midfielder was delighted to have been able to fulfil his dream of playing in England by joining the Whites.

Okocha signed for Bolton on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2002 and helped keep the Trotters in the top-flight during his first season at the Reebok Stadium.

The talismanic playmaker went on to help Wanderers compete with both England and Europe's finest sides, establishing himself as one of their greatest ever players before leaving at the end of the 2005/06 season.

Despite the club having been unable to reach the same heights in recent years, progress is slowly being made after the Whites won promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship at the first time of asking last season.

And with the 44-year-old hopeful that Bolton will soon compete in the Premier League once again, he revealed he only has fond memories from his time with the Trotters.

"I always wanted to play in the Premier League," Okocha recently told goal.com when reflecting on his career. "Bolton offered me that opportunity at that time and that was why I signed for Bolton. 

"I have no regrets from my time in England. I would have been regretting my time England if I had not left my legacy.

"The most important thing for me is the opportunity that you have. I think I maximised my opportunity at Bolton, changing the mindset of the people from when I arrived till the time I left.

"Bolton was one of the relegation candidates when I got there but we took the club to another level and even had the opportunity to play for the first time in the Europa League.

Okocha continued: "To hear Bolton fans chanting about me felt great and I think it is very encouraging. It shows that you are doing the right things. You are being taken to heart and it is very encouraging.

"My worst moment I would say was my first season because I did not realise how tough the Premier League is and I did not realise early enough that I signed for a struggling team.

“"But then at the end of the day I will say my greatest moment in England was the day that we survived relegation, we survived after the last game of the season.

"We had some great players during my time. Youri Djorkaeff, Ivan Campo, El Hadji Diouf – love him or hate him, he was instrumental to what we achieved. Fernando Hierro too and Hidetoshi Nakata from Japan.

"We had all nationalities in one team and it was great to have these players in the team. I welcomed the challenge we faced with both hands and I enjoyed every moment of it.

"So, when I look back at what I achieved at Bolton, it makes me very happy."

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