Tuesday, 09 July 2013 10:49

Notable SANigerians: Williams'Willie' Okpara

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Williams OkparaWilliam Nwadinobi "Willy" Okpara (born May 7, 1968 in Lagos) is a former Nigerian football goalkeeper who played more than a decade for South African side Orlando Pirates.

He played for ACB Lagos from 1987 to 1989 and moved to South African side Orlando Pirates. Okpara was the club's first choice goalkeeper from 1990 to 2002, losing his place to Congolese goalkeeper Michel Nzamongini Babale during 2002-03 season, then becoming an understudy to Thabang Radebe and Francis Chansa before retiring in 2005. He holds the record of Pirates' appearances with 375 matches, also being the club's longest serving player.


Okpara was Nigeria under-20's first goalkeeper during 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship, playing in all three matches as Nigeria failed to win during the group stage. He played for Nigeria national futsal team at 1992 FIFA Futsal World Championship as an outfield player[2], featuring in the 4-5 loss against Poland when he was sent off.

He made his debut for the Nigerian national team in 1996 and was selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup squad.

After his retirement, Okpara became a goalkeeping coach for Orlando Pirates.

Premier Soccer League: 2
2000-01, 2002-03
National Soccer League: 1
Nedbank Cup: 1
MTN 8: 3
1993, 1996, 2000
Castle Challenge: 1
CAF Champions League: 1
CAF Super Cup: 1


Name                                      William Okpara
Nickname                                Godfather
Date of Birth                            May 07, 1968
Position                                  Goalkeeper
Squad Number                        104
Previous Club                          ACB FC Lagos (Nigeria)
Height                                    1.8
Weight                                   85kg
Nationality                              Nigeria
Marital Status                         Married
Wife/Girlfriend's Name              Stella
Children (s) Name                    William Okpara Jr.
Favourite Movie Anything with   Bruce Lee
Favourite Music                       Religious Music
Favourite Food                         Curry & Rice
Favourite Restuarant                Something Fishy
Favourite Car                          1945 Beetle
Favourite SA Player                 Mbulelo 'OJ' Mabizela
Favourite SA Team                  Orlando Pirates FC
Foreign Player                        Jay-Jay Okocha
Foreign Team                         Manchester United
National Team                        Under-17 (1986) & under-20 (1987) Super Eagles in the Junior World Cup, 1998 France World Cup, 1992 Nigerian 5 a-side team Hong Kong
Motto In Life                            "Slow and Steady!"

Read 4825 times Last modified on Friday, 09 August 2013 12:55