Past Nigerian Football Stars: Amokachi
Daniel Owefin Amokachi is a Nigerian former professional footballer, and former assistant manager of the Nigeria national football team, and current Manager of JS Hercules in Finland. Born 30th December 1972, He is a native of Kaduna state in Nigeria.
He has been a technical director since 2006. With World Cup
performances, he was third in the African Footballer of the Year award three times. As a forward, he was known for his speed, technique and physical strength, which earnmed him the nicknames Black Bulland Black Train.
Amokachi is married to a Tunisian woman and has two twin sons named Kalim and Nazim who are following their father’s footsteps in becoming footballers. Both are currently in the Besiktas youth academy.
Amokachi, nicknamed “The Bull”, was discovered while playing for Ranchers Bees (1989-1990) by Nigerian national team coach Clemens Westerhof, who brought the talented player to the 1990 African Nations Cup, and soon Amokachi moved to play for Club Brugge (1990-1994) in Belgium.
Performing well in Belgium and at the 1994 World Cup, Everton (1994-1996) became interested in Amokachi and their manager Mike Walker signed him.
He went on to win the FA Cup with Everton in 1995, famously infuriating manager Joe Royle by bringing himself on as a substitute, then proceeding to score two goals in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur.
He transferred to Beşiktaş (1996-1999) of Turkey for a fee of £1.75million. He had failed to make the impact at Goodison Park that many fans had been hoping for, and had been unable to win a regular place in the first team, as Paul Rideout and Duncan Fergusonwere firmly established as Everton’s two strikers at this stage. He did, however, stand in for Ferguson while he spent six weeks in prison during the autumn of 1995 for an offence committed in Scotland 18 months earlier.
American MLS team Colorado Rapids signed him in 2002, but seeing as he was not fit enough they released him before a single match was played.
He played many international matches for Nigeria, and was part of the team that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1998 FIFA World Cup and won the 1994 African Nations Cup. He also helped win the Olympic gold medal in 1996, scoring in the Gold Medal game itself against Argentina.
Amokachi sustained an injury just ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, played one game, but struggled with knee problems thereafter.
Amokachi managed Nigerian club Nasarawa United and later Enyimba Aba. In April 2007, he quit his role as assistant coach of the Nigeria national team. On 10 April 2008, Amokachi was re-appointed to Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles, as assistant coach to Shuaibu Amodu, and then as assistant to Stephen Keshi.
In 2015, Amokachi managed Ifeanyi Ubah, resigning after five weeks in the post. In January 2016, he was named as manager of JS Hercules. He is still at the club.
His Honours include
Nigeria: Africa Cup of Nations: 1994
Olympic Gold Medal: 1996
Everton: FA Cup: (1) 1994-95
Beşiktaş: Turkish Cup: 1997-98