By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon.
One is normal, two is special, but to have three from the same family play for their country’s senior national team is nothing of short of a super story.
Paul Bahoken started the extra ordinary tale of the Bahoken’s in the Lions Den in the late 70’s and early 80’s. 40 years down the line another of his sons is still an important part of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon team.
Having came through the ranks of TKC Yaounde in the late 70’s, Paul Bahoken the father of two Indomitable Lions made his way to Europe in 1977.
He initially joined Reims, his hardwork and goalscoring ability took him to five other clubs in France in an 11 year career in which he played close to 300 official matches.
Looking back at the 1982 season, the Douala native was playing arguably his best football for then French Ligue Un side Cannes and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon had qualified for their very first FIFA world cup.
Coach Rade decided to picked six forwards for the tournament with the likes of Albert Roger Milla, Oscar Eyobo, Simon Tchobang and Ernest Ebongue all involved. Paul Bahoken was a part of that frontline.
The Indomitable impressed the world in their debut campaign. They were unbeaten in the tournament holding Peru, Poland and Italy to a draw.
His stay in the national team was just seven years long. He joined the den in 1977 and retired in 1984. He left international football coincidentally in the same year Cameroon won their first AFCON crown without him. He made 11 appearances for country, participated in the 1984 Olympic games in Atlanta in addition to the world cup.
10 years after his retirement his son Gustave Bahoken starting making claims for a place in the National team with his outstanding displays for Cotonsport of Garoua. He won the Cameroon elite one Championship in 1998 and also moved to Europe as it is a strong ingredient to play in the Cameroon national team.
He first joined Swiss side FC Sion but struggled to nail down a place as a regular prompting a move to Le Havre, Valenciennes and FC Rouen.
His breakthrough came after he joined Scottish side Livingston in 2002. In three years at the club he attended two international tournaments with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
The 40-year-old was a part of the Cameroon team coach Winfried Schafer took to France for the 2003 FIFA Confederations cup. He featured in Cameroon’s virgin draw against the USA on June 23rd 2003 spending 83 minutes on the pitch.
The right back later made the squad for the 2004 AFCON but failed to feature in any of Cameroon’s four games in the tournament.
He dissappeared from the scene of the national after that February 2004 after just two appearances and never returned till his retirement from football in 2012.
15 years down the line Cameroon came with another Bahoken. The 27-year-old current SCO Angers forward made the Cameroon squad that traveled to Egypt for AFCON and scored twice.
Having represented France at Under 20’s Bahoken switched pledged his international allegiance to Cameroon and made his first appearance for Country in a 3-1 win against Kuwait.
Bahoken has featured in 10 games so far and scored three goals.
Curiously there is a 15 year gap between Paul Bahoken’s last involvement in the national team and that of his son Gustave Bahoken. The same gap exists between when Gustave and Stephane Bahoken attended a major competition with the Cameroon team.
Talent some say is in the blood.
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