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The Mail Bag

How old is the Yak?

Comments (23)

Just a slightly worrying comment from Mr Moyes in the wake of our excellent win last night... when talking about The Yak he said:

"When you consider he is 24, albeit a Nigerian 24, so if that is right he has got a good few years ahead of him.?

I really hope he said that tongue in cheek and we do actually know for definate how old he is. I'm sure the club will have done their homework and it was just a joke, but still got me worried none the less.
Andy Hudson, Newcastle     Posted 22/02/2008 at 09:43:52

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Ben Jackson
1   Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:01:22

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I think this comes mainly from the Obafemi martins situation at Newcastle, who claims to be about 22 when he played in the same youth team as Babayaro who is about 5/6 years older! I’m sure the club will have done their home work....
Lee McIntosh
2   Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:05:23

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Well, the official club website says he is 25 at the moment, so there’s obviously some confusion!

Does that mean Yobo could be anything between 18 and 25 too!?
Gavin Ramejkis
3   Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:42:33

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He could be forty for me as long as he plays like he did last night, leaving those two defenders on their arse and slotting in the goal
Seamus Murphy
4   Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:15:18

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How cool was he for his third goal!!
John Lloyd
5   Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:17:20

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Its a common thing in african footballers for the players to obtain false birth certificates either in their homland or more commonly the middle east/asia where a lot of them get thier first break (Yak was at Mac el-haiffa) the reasoning behind it is obvious but short of a carbon bone scan or something hi tech like that the club have to rely on the evidence provided to them by documents and thier own assesment.

But if he keeps scoring like he is who’s arsed??
Martyn Whitham
6   Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:12:07

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I’ve got some experience of dealing with this situation through my work. The problem is that Nigeria and some of the other African countries (although it’s not limited to just them), have appalling unreliable/inaccurate record keeping. In the worst instance I’ve dealt with an individual who had three different dates of birth, with a range of almost 12 years between the dates overall.

In these scenarios, you can only work with any other information you’ve got, but from the club’s point, whilst they acknowledge Yak’s ’official’ date of birth, I’m sure they’ve done as much research as possible to establish something close to his true age, given the outlay of money involved.
Andy Hudson
7   Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:53:40

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Yeah i’m delighted with the goals he has scored, and the fact we are a much more dangerous team with him playing. But the thing about his age will matter for the following reasons:

1) If he’s 29 then we’ve only got a couple (maybe 3) years of him scoring goals for us. Dont get me wrong that will be great, but he its quite a lot of money to pay out for a player of that age.

2) If he’s only 24/25 then we have a deadly goalscorer who’s stilla few years off his prime. Given Moyes’ track record of getting the best out of (most) players it means we could have one hell of a forward in a few years.

Either way we’ve got a great goalscorer and the best thing about his goals last night was that they were all different. One a quick curling shot with very little backlift, one a great piece of skill to dump 2 defenders on their arses before cooly slotting home (whilst standing still) and finally a total goalpoachers goal from about 2 yards out.

Feed the Yak and he will score... lets just hope in a few years he’s still being fed by our players and not meals on wheels!
Andy Callan
8   Posted 22/02/2008 at 16:03:27

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Let hope he stays interested. I have mates up here in Newcastle who are Boro fans and reckon he loses interest REALLY easily.

Mind you if we are winning regularly then maybe he will want to win, score, run and play for the team.

He played well again last night, so who cares how old he is...!!!!!!
Joe Clitherow
9   Posted 22/02/2008 at 16:31:50

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I’d lose interest really easily if I was a footballer playing for Middlesbrough
Chris McCullough
10   Posted 22/02/2008 at 16:28:35

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Wasn?t there a similar situation with Bakayoko? He turned out to be a lot older than he claimed to be!... By the look of him I would say the Yak is at least 27
Scott Milne
11   Posted 22/02/2008 at 17:09:47

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Just my opinion, but what I think Moyes was actually getting at is that, like many other Nigerian players (African in general) Yakubu’s played many many more 1st class matches than many players of the same age.
Also that Nigerian players often rely on pace more than other more technique-based players...

Phil Chester
12   Posted 22/02/2008 at 17:17:59

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What a turn around from when the Yak first arrived, he was lazy and never looked like scoring. Now he looks fitter, faster and hungrier, well done the yak and well done Mr Moyes. They both know what Evertonians expect. Let's see more.
Barry Cass
13   Posted 22/02/2008 at 17:50:18

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No matter how old he is or isn’t he’s the best finisher we’ve had since Lineker. Him and Pienaar are unbelievable !!

Rob Jones
14   Posted 22/02/2008 at 18:00:37

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So going by most of your reckonings Big Vics about 25 and Yobos in his 30s lol, I’m pretty sure that they’d reveal their true date of birth once they got to a big club like us with no fear of being too young or too old.
Kieran Kinsella
15   Posted 22/02/2008 at 18:35:07

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I remember when Mike Walker tried (according to tabloids) to sign Tony Yeboah (age 32 at the time) for us in 1994.
A few years later Leeds sgned him by which time he was only 28 years old.
Mike Hughes
16   Posted 22/02/2008 at 19:33:16

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If the new drink laws come to pass and the age is raised to 21 then Yakubu will have to take his birth certificate out with him. Young Yak is just out of his teens and Big Vic still has his milk teeth. They’ll be around for years.
Andy MacFarlane
17   Posted 22/02/2008 at 20:16:53

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In support of Martyn Whitham?s post, in my line of work, I, too, have experience of problems of establishing exact birth records for people from the African Continent. Mind you, to put it in context, try getting birth certificate records out of Southern Ireland for persons born before 1924 when the IRA blew up the records office in DubLin!
Kevin West
18   Posted 22/02/2008 at 20:32:31

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Wikipedia have him as 25

Quite a good write up for The Yak. He played for Maccabi Hafia youth team in 1999 so 25 sounds about right? Saying that, Obafemi Martins still thinks he is eligible to play for Newcastle United U-18s!
Keith Glazzard
19   Posted 23/02/2008 at 00:00:47

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IF ... the Yak carries on as he has started and knocks in about 30 for us this season (especially leaving defenders on their arses while he does it)

IF ... he does this for two or possibly three more seasons, then picks up his bus pass, handing on to the young Anichebe, who will be 48 or so ...

Then he will have become an EFC immortal.

And his handling of the quite proper question put to him by the interviewer after the game last night about his hatrick was superb - thanks to the team, to the supporters etc. A young man with bags of talent who has his feet on the ground.
Franny Porter
20   Posted 23/02/2008 at 05:01:07

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Hes 46.
Guy Wilkinson
21   Posted 23/02/2008 at 09:34:44

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He’s Roger Milla’s dad.
Dave Turner
22   Posted 24/02/2008 at 01:18:28

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Just a note on wikipedia, yes it says he is 25, quite clearly..

’Yakubu Aiyegbeni (born 22 November 1982 in Benin City, Nigeria)’

But also if you look just to the right where it says date of birth it has..

’Date of birth 22 November 1980 (1980-11-22) (age 27)’

Both taken from @ 1:24am..

His age is just a whole world of confusion. Don’t know where I stand on this, such a strange situation, aslong as he isn’t over 29 in real terms I am happy, for him to be 25 would be great though!
Brian Williams
23   Posted 25/02/2008 at 09:22:51

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If he's 25 then I'm 17......Guestimates please on a postcard....

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