Okocha Wins BBC Award

Last updated : 09 January 2004 By Mark Heys
Bolton Wanderers midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha has won the BBC African Player of the Year award after a recent poll held voted the Nigerian as the best player in 2003.

The 30-year old has been in magnificent form for both club and country since his arrival from Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2002 and readers of the BBC African website voted for the Super Eagles player ahead of Real Mallorca's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and Ghanian Stephen Appiah of Juventus.

"I've been expecting something like this for a very long time," a delighted Okocha told BBC Sport.

"I'd got to the stage where I thought that I'd never win an award in my career, so I'm very happy to be recognised in this way."