John Chukwudi Utaka is a Nigerian footballer who currently plays as a striker for Championnat National 2 side CS Sedan Ardennes. He is the older brother of fellow professional footballer Peter Utaka.
NAME: John Chukwudi Utaka
DATE OF BIRTH: 8 January 1982
PLACE OF BIRTH: Enugu, Nigeria
CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: Utaka was born in Enugu, Nigeria. He first moved to Egypt in 1998, joining Arab Contractors and subsequently Ismaily. While with Ismaily, Utaka earned cult status with the local fans. They used to chant “Oh Oh Oh Utaka, Oh Oh Oh Utaka” during the matches. He played alongside the likes of Mohammed Barakat, Islam El-Shater, and captain Mohamed Salah Abo Greisha under the guidance of Mohsen Saleh, later appointed coach of Egypt.
He joined Al-Sadd of Qatar in 2001 for a fee of $1 million. This was then a record transfer fee in Qatar. where he spent one season.
In 2002, he joined French club RC Lens whom he left in 2005 for Rennes.
Utaka struggled to make an impact at the start of his Rennes stint. However, he took advantage of the absence of fellow striker Alexander Frei through injury to make his breakthrough. In February 2006, he scored two consecutive hat-tricks, against Lens and Lyon, and as a result received the L’Équipe’s player of the month award.
In July 2017, he signed with fourth-tier side CS Sedan.
HONORS AND AWARDS:
Egypt Cup: 1999–2000
FA Cup: 2008
Ligue 1: 2011–12
Egyptian League: Top scorer 1999–2000