Former Super Eagles and Shakhtar Donetsk striker, Julius Efosa Aghahowa, has confessed to his die-hard soccer fans that he was never an officer in the Nigerian Police.
While responding to call-in questions from sports listeners, the centre forward made this revelation during Tuesday’s live programme (Ifeanyi Udeze’s Diary) on Brila FM.
Known for his eye-popping back-flip celebrations and super-sub role for both club and country, the centre forward Aghahowa said the misconception started from his playing days at Police Machine Football Club.
“It is believed that once you are part of the Police Machine team, you must definitely be an officer which is not always true. Everywhere I go, it is not unusual to hear people hailing ‘Officer’ ‘Area’ or ‘Shaun Sir.
“Some even wondered why I should be paid salaries with all the allowances and bonuses NFF is paying me. This is why it is even harder convincing soccer fans that I am not a policeman,” he giggled.
The 36-year-old star caught the eye of soccer-crazy fans in Nigeria while playing for the Flying Eagles during FIFA U-21 World Cup hosted by Nigeria in 1999.
Aside from being a super-sub who fans were always sure would score anytime he was brought in, his back-flips also had a way of throwing fans into frenzy. The Benin City-born star was to play for the senior national team from 2000 – 2007 and scored a total of 14 goals in 32 appearances for the Super Eagles.
At the height of his career, Aghahowa played in Nigerian (Police Machine & Bendel Insurance), Tunisia, Danish, Ukrainian, English and Turkish leagues.
Since his retirement from active football, Aghahowa has gone on to study Art and Textiles at Falmouth University (formerly University College Falmouth). According to his Wikipedia page, his last known appointment was as an assistant librarian in Kempston, Bedfordshire, UK.