Waiting for people to inspire you to chase your dreams is a waste of time. You got to inspire yourself to pursue your goals. There are moments in life, where it seems all hope is lost. When nothing seems to be working. Those are moments one needs to look inward and never give in to discouragement.
Four years ago (2016), people said he was finished. But he refused to give up on himself. The player who is ranked amongst the biggest in English football at 102 Kg has got a story to share. His name is Saheed Adebayo Akinfenwaand he is a professional footballer presently plying his trade with newly-promoted Wycombe Wanderers.
In 2016, the 38 years old striker jokingly said he was technically unemployed after been released by AFC Wimbledon. The widely traveled footballer who has played for 15 clubs, is known for his physical strength and heavily built frame.
Akinfenwa the Journeyman
Akinfenwa started his football journey in Lithuania with FK Atlantas but was unable to settle down due to racial abuse. He quickly returned to the UK after just two seasons with the Lithuanian club and joined Welsh top side, Barry Town.
His football journey has seen him then move from Boston United, Leyton Orient, Rushden & Diamonds, Doncaster Rovers, Torquay United, Swansea City, Millwall, Northampton Town, Gillingham, and AFC Wimbledon.
Against all odds
Looking at him with his massive frame, one might be tempted to believe he won’t make a success of his football career. Unfortunately, he has defied all odds and has had an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years. He has so far made a total of 717 appearances, scoring 26 goals and winning numerous trophies and personal awards. He has had to battle against racism, abuse, and all sorts of challenges. In their Play-off match against Fleetwood, he was called “Fat Water Buffalo”, but they went ahead to win against all odds.
From technically unemployed to the Championship.
In 2016, Akinfenwa spoke with reporters in a live interview that he was technically unemployed, as his contract was up at AFC Wimbledon.
Fast forward to 2019, and the London born footballer of Nigerian descent inspired Wycombe wanderers to a place in the Championship after defeating Oxford United 2-1 in the playoffs.
If there is anything that has kept him going, it is the belief in his abilities. He has seen the beautiful side of the game he loves so much. He has also experienced the bitter side of the football. Life and football are all about opinion. “Four years ago someone gave an opinion about me and that’s their opinion. My story shows the only opinion that matters is the opinion you have about yourself. I was lucky and blessed to find a manager and players who believed in me and so we are here today”.
At 38, he still has a lofty dream of helping Wycombe wanderers in their Championship quest in the coming season. Nothing is impossible when it comes to football. Akinfenwa can even inspire Wycombe Wanderers to book a place in the Premiership!
Clement Sadjere is an Inspirational writer, Peak performer, and a seasoned content curator. An avid reader and publisher who has won several awards as a Platinum Expert Author with over 12 years of experience under his belt. His unique mix of knowledge, curiosity, interest in diverse cultures, and excellent research skills empowers him to write on a wide range of topics.
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