Okocha inspiring Hull to Premiership promotion

Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha is on the brink of achieving another stunning feat in his successful career - inspiring little Hull City to Premiership promotion.

Tigers boss Phil Brown said: "Jay-Jay has brought to this club a belief that we can play at a higher level.

"What he can do with a football in training on a daily basis, and occasionally in a Hull City shirt, sends shivers down your spine.

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"He has also brought an awareness to the outside world that Hull exists.

"He lives on the international planet, and it has been a bit strange for people here to have camera crews from Qatar and Nigeria camped on our doorstep.

"And I can't believe there have been many Hull players in demand before as commentators at the Africa Cup of Nations, but that's a measure of the stardom the name Okocha brings to the table.

"Unfortunately he hasn't played that regularly because of injuries and, more recently, the first red card of his career against Burnley, which hurt him deeply because he is a very religious man. He got sent off by Mike Riley for raising his hand above head high to a 5ft 6in player, whose antics were unforgivable, and Jay-Jay is such a placid man that he took it very personally.

"If you look at the video of that incident, he stood there subserviently, hands behind his back in front of the referee, praying he was not going to get a red card. It's such a pity because we're talking about a player whose gift has been to put a smile on people's faces all over the world, and he gets treated like that."

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