The first Nigerian footballer to play in the English Premier League (EPL) was Efan Ekoku. He was born on June 8, 1967, in Benin City, Nigeria. Ekoku started his football career in Nigeria, playing for clubs like Ranchers Bees, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, and Sharks FC.
In 1989, Ekoku moved to England to further his studies and pursue his football career. He enrolled in a sports science degree program at the University of Southampton and played for the university’s football team. After impressing with his performances for the university team, Ekoku was signed by Bournemouth FC, a team in the third tier of English football, in 1990.
Ekoku’s impressive performances for Bournemouth caught the eye of Norwich City, who signed him for a fee of £500,000 in 1993. He made his Premier League debut for Norwich City on August 14, 1993, in a 4-2 defeat to Arsenal. He scored his first Premier League goal for Norwich City in a 2-0 win over Chelsea on September 18, 1993.
Ekoku’s time at Norwich City was a successful one. He scored 20 goals in 57 appearances for the club, including a famous hat-trick against Everton in September 1993. His performances helped Norwich City finish third in the Premier League in the 1992-93 season, their highest-ever finish in the competition.
Ekoku left Norwich City in 1995 and went on to play for other clubs in England, including Wimbledon, where he scored a famous goal against Manchester United in a 3-2 win in 1996. He also played for Grasshopper Club Zurich in Switzerland, and the American team Dallas Burn.
Ekoku retired from professional football in 2002 and has since become a respected football pundit, working for various media outlets in England and Nigeria. He was inducted into the Norwich City Hall of Fame in 2008....See More