I became hero after lying to play for Everton in 1995 FA Cup final – Daniel Amokachi

Daniel Amokachi

Ex-Nigeria international Daniel Amokachi has revealed how he lied to play for Everton in the 1995 FA Cup final against Tottenham at Elland Road.

Amokachi was not meant to be on the pitch on that fateful day, but the young forward made it happen.

“If it had gone wrong, it would have been my last game for Everton and we wouldn’t be doing this interview,” he told Daily Mail.

Amokachi seized his chance after Everton striker Paul Rideout, who had been carrying a knee injury, went down in agony 70 minutes into the game.

Everton were 2-1 up but favourites Tottenham were threatening a comeback.

While Rideout was still in pain, physio Les Helm signalled for Everton manager Joe Royle to give him a few minutes. Suddenly, Amokachi burst onto the pitch.

“I told Jimmy Gabriel, who was in charge of subs, that the gaffer had said I was to go on. Jimmy gave the paper to the fourth official and I ran on the pitch. I turned just as the gaffer was running towards the sideline shouting ‘what the hell are you doing? Poor Jimmy was left to explain,” he said.

Fortunately, Amokachi’s introduction was one of dreams as he scored twice to secure a 4-1 win.

Royle maintained it was the best substitution he never made.

“Well done Daniel,” said the Everton manager back at the dressing room. “But you ever try that s*** again and you’ll be finished.”

Now 48, Amokachi was appointed as special adviser on sports to President Muhammadu Buhari in August and has been busy delivering food parcels and relaying messages of how to stay safe.