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Champion Baka At The Double

Super striker collects community and PFA awards

8 April 2022

Man-of-the-moment Amadou Bakayoko collected two awards thanks to his magnificent efforts on and off the pitch.

Bakayoko received his trophy and an original print as the PFA Vertu Motors Fans’ League One Player of the Month from PFA northern commercial director George Berry.

And the Wanderers’ striker was also recognised as Wanderers’ own PFA Community Champion for the 2021/22 season for his outstanding work supporting projects run by Bolton Wanderers in the Community.

Richard Slater – BWitC’s Disability and Health Manager – said: “Baka has been a fantastic player ambassador within the community this year and was an obvious choice for our 2021/22 PFA Community Champion Award.

“He has particularly supported our men’s mental health project ‘Team Talk’ and our weight management project ‘Fit Fans’.

“At his numerous appearances throughout the year he has been a constant professional, acting as a role model for many of our beneficiaries and really going the extra mile to support individuals and the work of Bolton Wanderers in the Community.”

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Bakayoko received his community award from supporter Dave Blackburn (above) , a Wanderers’ fan and participant on BWitC projects.

“It meant a lot to be asked to present the award. I admire Baka and think he is a fantastic player,” said Dave.

“It’s great to see him at the sessions to share what he has been through regarding fitness and his day-to-day life.

“I look forward to seeing him again and he has asked to come along to share more of his experiences.

“Mental health affects everyone in different ways and to hear how as a professional he goes about his fitness was interesting to listen to as well. I can’t praise him enough.”

Bakayoko – who was also named as Wanderers’ Bolton Kia player of the month for March – has enjoyed a memorable first season with the Whites.

The former Walsall and Coventry City striker is enjoying the most productive season of his career in front of goal with 11 so far – including five in seven appearances during February to earn the PFA fans' award.

Bakayoko PFA trophy April 2022.jpg

He has also earned his first international caps – and goal – for Sierra Leone last month and been a ready supporter of the Whites’ community arm to earn their champion’s award.

“It means a lot to receive that award and to see Dave again,” said Bakayoko.

“The Community does so much important work in helping and improving the lives of many people, who are also our fans.

“I always enjoy meeting them, sharing my experiences and doing what I can to help and it’s something I will keep doing whenever possible.”

On the field, Bakayoko has overcome a couple of injury absences this season to form a formidable part of Wanderers’ attacking armoury.

Often used via the bench in recent weeks, the 26-year-old has weighed in with some vital goals.

And he is now just two behind Dapo Afolayan in the hunt to be top scorer as he aims to help Wanderers end the season on a high – continuing with Saturday’s visit of promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.

“It’s something I’ve looked at,” said Bakayoko.

“But getting the wins in the last five games is important and making sure we finish as strong as possible is definitely key.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday. Two good teams and we need to put up a good fight and make sure we start the run for the last five games with a win.”

Watch Baka's interview on an eventful few weeks HERE


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