The Rashid Yekini Foundation on Saturday in Ibadan honoured Lobi Star’s Anthony Okpotu who was the highest goal scorer of the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, season.
Okpotu was presented with the third Rashidi Yekini Golden Boot award and the dreadlocked lethal striker also received a cheque of N100, 000 for his effort in the outgone season.
The award which is instituted in honour of the late Super Eagles striker, has previously been won by former Warri Wolves striker, Gbolahan Salami, and ex-Wikki Tourists forward, Godwin Obaje, in the last two seasons.
Speaking after receiving the award, Okpotu showered encomiums on the late gangling Yekini; describing him as a distinguished role model which most strikers can only dream to be like.
“Yekini to me is a living legend who makes goal scoring easier during his playing days. I didn’t have the opportunity of watching him as a player, but for ‘YouTube’, where I was able to watch him in action.
“He remains Nigeria all-time highest goal scorer but we have not celebrated him the way it should be. I thank the organisers for initiating this award that has served as a platform to celebrate this soccer hero every year.
“I am happy to win this award and I want to do more next season. This is a challenge and I hope to score more than 19 goals next season God willing,” said Okpotu, a member of the Super Eagles team who won the silver at the just-ended WAFU Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana
In a chat with PREMIUM TIMES, the chairman of Rashidi Yekini Foundation, Jubril Mohammed, expressed joy at the recognition accorded the late African Footballer of the Year by the turn out of people at Saturday’s event.
“I am very impressed with the large and quality turn out. This is just my own little contribution to keep the memory of Yekini on and on. I must express profound gratitude to everybody that turned up for this year’s event, it was very encouraging” the barrister sated.
Mr. Jubril assured that his resolve to make the awards an annual event remains undaunted even though he has been saddled with funding the past three editions.
“We are glad people are beginning to key into this and ready to offer support but even if there was no support, I have taken this upon myself to immortalize my close friend and associate this way,” he said.
Among those present at Saturday’s award presentation ceremony held at the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan were the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Yomi Oke, ex-internationals. Felix Owolabi and Dimeji Lawal and the vice chairman of Lobi Stars, Mike Idoko.
The daughter of the late football legend, Yemi, was also around with her mother to add glamour to the event.