2019: Sunusi Ibrahim & Mfon Udoh
Not content with one, Udoh followed the footsteps of Sibi Gwar as one of the chosen few to cart the coveted golden boot title twice, as he helped his side in a failed attempt at becoming champions finishing fourth in the rebranded Super 6. Sunusi Ibrahim’s strikes would not be enough to propel his side into the Super 6 either as they finished an agonizing fourth in their group. However, both men would share the Golden boot, crowning an abridged season that had seen debates as to whether goals in the regular and post-season would count. Sunusi earned a move abroad but has since returned to the league.
2018: Junior Sewanu Lokosa
No longer wanted by Moine Chabaani and Esperance, Junior Lokosa was once a man in demand, terrorizing and sending shivers through the spine of defenses. His was one of many virtuoso performances as Kano Pillars settled for a third-place boardroom finish after the season was terminated on 24 matchdays. He started out the season scoring in four straight league games. It was an inevitability that he would smash Mfon Udoh’s record but for the league’s early end. The form would earn him a place in Nigeria’s preliminary World Cup squad, one he would eventually be cut from. However, Lokosa had made his mark, earning the respect and the attention of several teams in Europe and North Africa with his virtuoso performances.
2017: Anthony Okpotu
Another who could have smashed the record. The Panther was in his element in 2017, finding the net time and again for Lobi Stars as they finished eighth. Okpotu set several records including first half hattricks and game quadruples. His performances yielded nineteen strikes, a 44% goal contribution. The season would earn him a place in the CHAN squad of Salisu Yusuf in Morocco as the Eagles B finished second. It’d also earn him a move to the Botola Pro with DIfaa El Jadidi, where injuries would hamper his progress. He now tears the net in Tunisia, exercising his burst of pace and sheer power on hapless opposition with US Monastir, and his a reported target fir Esperance and other European clubs.
2016: Godwin Obaje
Obaje made Wikki Tourists hopefuls dream in 2016 as his 18goals fired them into continental places and trips. It would ultimately end in tears, as lowly RSLAF dumped them out in the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup, but Obaje had done his bit for the Bauchi side, in a season where they ran Rangers and Rivers United close. He beat off competition Rangers’ Chisom Egbuchulam and Obinna Nwobodo that season, poachers in their own right. The number 21 held no prisoners especially in fixtures against Warri Wolves and Shooting Stars. The 24-year-old currently plies his trade in Tunisia for JS Kairouan.
2015: Fuad Gbolahan Salami
Nigerian Balotelli was in a league of his own in 2015, etching his name in the history books with consistent virtuoso performances. Salami bagged 17goals for Warri Wolves, as the Delta-based side clinched a place in the following season’s CAF Champions League, a second continental appearance in what was to be a golden era for the side. They’d come handy especially in Wolves’ four-match winning streak that set them up for the remainder of the season. He’d feature for the Super Eagles in that time enhancing his legacy with a goal in AFCON Qualification as the Eagles fell short. Salami may have earned the Balotelli tag but he definitely justified it with performances. The campaign would earn him a move to KuPS in Finland, where he’d post a 0.41 goals per game. Salami currently plays in the Saudi First Division with Najran
2014: Mfon Udoh
Enyimba and Akwa United are two of the NPFL teams the wily forward has lined up for. The marksman announced his arrival on the scene with bangers, firing goals especially in the big games to mark the commencement of the LMC era. His 23 goals helped Enyimba finish second in the league table behind Kano Pillars for a second straight season while also amongst the numbers in the People’s Elephants Federation Cup success. His brace against the Sai Masu Gida in the last game stood out particularly despite its insufficiency in clinching the title. He remains the only Nigerian to have breached twenty goals in a season. He did add the Player of the Year Gong to his Golden Boot triumph, an impeccable achievement. He’d finish top scorer of the CAF Champions League two years later before been named captain of the club. The 28-year old currently features for FC Tulsa in the USL Championship.
2013: Victor Namo
Jos born Victor Namo took the league by storm in 2013, scoring 18goals. The explosive forward joined the Lafia-based side after years in Kano where he had triumphed in the league. However, it was for Nasarawa United that he’d post individual honors. The 6ft striker would earn a move to Al Ahly Benghazi in Libya.
2012: Sibi Gwar
Now 32, Sibi Gwar was a goal machine in his heyday, bagging 2 golden boots and exciting the fans across the country. The Benue born hitman hit 17 goals as Niger Tornadoes failed to beat the drop. It would serve as the consolation to his season, posting virtuoso performances against Ocean Boys, Kaduna United, and Jigawa Golden Stars. A legend of the Nigerian League, he would head to Enyimba for a third stint after. He earned one Super Eagles cap, a reward for the season’s efforts.
2011: Jude Aneke
The 30-year old Enugu born forward tore defenses apart in the 2011 Nigerian Premier League season, breaking Ahmed Musa’s record In November 2011, becoming Nigeria’s first 20-goal season striker, scoring his 19th and 20th goal in a 3-1 win against Niger Tornadoes. A week later, he was called up to the Nigeria national football team to replace an injured Peter Odemwingie for AFCON qualifier. Under Maurice Cooreman, Aneke was unstoppable as Kaduna United attempted to consolidate their AITEO cup triumph the year prior. Aneke’s league goals came alongside his 2 Group stage strikes in the CAF Confederations Cup against Inter Luanda and ASEC Mimosas.
2010: Ahmed Musa
The Super Eagles skipper broke Orok Akarandunt’s record, a year after the 33-year old set the league alight. Musa would bag 18goals in the colors of the Sai Masu Gida of Kano, a 37.5% contribution as they finished runner-up behind Enyimba in the title race. It completed a meteoric rise for Musa, who netted four times for JUTH the season before. He has since become the first Nigerian to score a brace at two different World Cups, winning the AFCON and attaining legend status at CSKA Moscow. He currently plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
The decade prior, Orok Akarandunt had bagged 17goals for Akwa United in 2009, as the Promise Keepers went down. Abubakar Babale and Sibi Gwar did share the Golden boot in 2008 with 14strikes. The Late Aruwa Ameh bagged 10goals for Kaduna United in 2007 to cart the golden boot. In 2006, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu Mosquito of EL Kanemi Warriors announced himself as one of the stars of the future with his ten goals. League Legend, Timothy Ajenmbe, and Joseph Akpala shared the honors in 2005 with twelve goals. Legendary Kabiru Alausa bagged thirteen goals for Julius Berger in 2004 before heading to Akure to join Sunshine Stars. Late Endurance Idahor and Chibuzor Ozurumba shared the 2003 version with thirteen goals as well while playing for Julius Berger and Iwuayanwu Nationale.
Joetex Frimpong bagged 16goals for El Kanemi in 2002 to remain the only foreigner to win the award post-2000, earning a move to Enyimba subsequently and Ghanaian international status. Peter Ijeh’s 14 strikes for Julius Berger in 2000 made him the first of three players from the club side to win the gong of top scorer, the only club to have so many winners in the twenty-first century, While Enugu Rangers’ Uche Okereke remains the only player from the South East army to win a golden boot, a feat achieved in 2001 and could be possibly matched by Israel Abia in 2020. 13 the magic number on both occasions.
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