Adebayo Akinfenwa

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Adebayo Akinfenwa
Adebayo Akinfenwa 2015 (cropped).jpg
Akinfenwa in training with AFC Wimbledon in 2015
Personal information
Full nameSaheed Adebayo Akinfenwa [1]
Date of birth (1982-05-10) 10 May 1982 (age 38) [1]
Place of birth Islington, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) [2]
Playing position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Wycombe Wanderers
Number 20
Youth career
2000–2001 Watford
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2001–2002 FK Atlantas 22 (5)
2003 Barry Town 9 (6)
2003 Boston United 3 (0)
2003 Leyton Orient 1 (0)
2003–2004 Rushden & Diamonds 0 (0)
2004 Doncaster Rovers 9 (4)
2004–2005 Torquay United 37 (14)
2005–2007 Swansea City 61 (14)
2007–2008 Millwall 7 (0)
2008–2010 Northampton Town 88 (37)
2010–2011 Gillingham 44 (11)
2011–2013 Northampton Town 80 (34)
2013–2014 Gillingham 34 (10)
2014–2016 AFC Wimbledon 83 (19)
2016– Wycombe Wanderers 152 (46)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 17:08, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

Saheed Adebayo Akinfenwa (born 10 May 1982) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Wycombe Wanderers. He is known for his physical strength and heavy build. [3] [4]

Contents

Akinfenwa's first professional breakthrough came at Doncaster Rovers, having spent time up until then in the lower leagues of English football as well as spells in Lithuania and Wales. Following a short but successful time at Doncaster, Akinfenwa moved to his seventh club, Torquay United. He proved to be a goal threat, but left the struggling team the following season to join Swansea City. After spending two seasons with the Welsh club, he joined League One side Millwall and later moved to Northampton Town. Akinfenwa spent six years switching from Northampton to Gillingham, where his goal-scoring ability was still apparent. In June 2014, he signed for League Two side AFC Wimbledon, and two years later Wycombe Wanderers.

Personal life

Akinfenwa was born in England to Nigerian parents. He is a close friend of Clarke Carlisle, his former teammate at Northampton Town. [4] As a child, he supported Liverpool and his favourite player was John Barnes. [4] His father is a Muslim and his mother is a Christian, and while Akinfenwa observed Ramadan as a child, he is now a Christian. [4]

Akinfenwa has become well known for being ranked as the strongest footballer in the world in various editions of the FIFA videogame series. [5] In September 2014 he was invited to attend the launch party for FIFA 15 alongside various celebrities and Premier League players, including Rio Ferdinand, George Groves and Lethal Bizzle. [6] Akinfenwa reportedly weighs around 16 stone (101 kg) and can bench press 200 kg, almost double his own body weight. [3] [7] He runs a clothing label called Beast Mode On which plays on his strong man reputation. [5]

Career

Early career

Akinfenwa was born in Islington, London. [1] As a teenager, he joined the Lithuanian club FK Atlantas on the advice of his agent, whose Lithuanian wife's brother knew a member of the coaching staff there. [8] He received racial abuse from fans in the country, later saying "Coming from London, where nobody would disrespect me, this was just brazen". [4] He spent two years at the club before returning to the UK early in 2003, where he joined Welsh Premier League champions Barry Town. [9] Akinfenwa helped Barry to Welsh Cup and Welsh Premier League silverware during his time at Jenner Park. However, just a handful of matches into his stint, the club suffered a financial crisis and released its professional playing staff. Akinfenwa quickly joined Boston United in October 2003, [10] scoring a last minute winner on his debut against Swindon Town in the Football League Trophy. [11] Unable to settle, he moved to Leyton Orient the following month, but was released after one month. [12] In December 2003 he moved to Rushden & Diamonds and in February 2004 joined Doncaster Rovers, his fifth club of the season. [13]

Torquay United

In July 2004, Akinfenwa changed clubs again, signing for Torquay United, as a replacement for David Graham. [14] He scored 14 league goals during the 2004–05 season but was unable to help the club avoid relegation to League Two. He declined to sign a new contract with Torquay at the end of the season. [15]

Swansea City

In July 2005, Akinfenwa moved to Swansea City, who were ordered to pay an £85,000 fee as compensation. [16] He scored on his debut against Tranmere Rovers, and this was also the first competitive goal scored at Swansea's new Liberty Stadium. [17] He scored the winning goal in the 2006 Football League Trophy Final, in which Swansea beat Carlisle United 2–1. He also helped Swansea reach the League One promotion play-off final in his first season. After a 2–2 draw, the match went to a penalty shoot-out but Akinfenwa was one of two Swansea players to miss with their penalties, granting promotion to Barnsley. [18] He was a regular the following season, until a broken right leg in the 2–0 defeat at home to Scunthorpe United ended his season. [19] This followed a fractured left shin the previous October. [20]

Millwall

At the end of the 2006–07 season, he rejected a new contract with Swansea, [21] and agreed to sign for Swindon Town on 29 June 2007. [22] However, he failed a medical.

Following this, in November 2007 he joined League One team Millwall on a month-to-month contract, [23] however he failed to score any goals in seven appearances. [24]

Northampton Town

On 18 January 2008 Akinfenwa signed a deal with Northampton Town until the end of the 2007–08 season. He made his debut against Swindon Town, where he came off the bench to score a late equaliser in a 1–1 draw. He then had the same impact in his home debut, scoring the equaliser in a 1–1 draw against Leeds United. He started the following match, at home to Gillingham, and scored two goals in a 4–0 win. He scored three further goals that season.

On 30 May 2008, Akinfenwa signed a new one-year contract at Northampton despite declared interest from Leyton Orient and Grimsby Town. [25] He started the 2008–09 season well, scoring twice in three matches by the end of September.

Akinfenwa ended his stay at Northampton in May 2010. He had been offered a new deal but Northampton could not agree a deal with him within an agreed timeframe.

Gillingham

Akinfenwa warming up for Gillingham in 2014 AdebayoAkinfenwa.jpg
Akinfenwa warming up for Gillingham in 2014

On 29 July 2010, he signed for Gillingham on a one-year contract, [26] and scored on his debut with a header against Cheltenham Town. Whilst at the Gills, Akinfenwa was able to form a strong partnership with Cody McDonald and the pair were able to score 36 goals between them that season.

Return to Northampton Town

Akinfenwa returned to Sixfields on 25 May 2011, after new Cobblers manager Gary Johnson brought him in to "capture the imagination of the supporters". [27] He scored his first goal against Bristol Rovers on 16 August. On 10 November 2012 in a match against Accrington Stanley, Akinfenwa scored his first, and to date only, professional hat-trick. [28] Three years later, with Northampton struggling financially, Akinfenwa auctioned off the shirt he wore in this match and donated the proceeds to a supporters' trust, raising £440. [29] Northampton Town released him at the end of the 2012–13 season. [30]

Return to Gillingham

Akinfenwa re-signed for Gillingham on a free transfer on 2 July 2013. [31] After reigniting his successful partnership with Cody McDonald, scoring 10 goals over the course of the 2013–14 season and coming third in their Supporters Player of the Year awards, Akinfenwa left the club on expiry of his one-year contract. [32]

AFC Wimbledon

Akinfenwa playing for AFC Wimbledon in 2015 Akinfenwa 2015.jpg
Akinfenwa playing for AFC Wimbledon in 2015

On 20 June 2014, he signed for League Two side AFC Wimbledon, who had pursued his signature for 14 months. [33] In the third round of the FA Cup on 5 January 2015, in which AFC Wimbledon hosted Liverpool at Kingsmeadow, Akinfenwa equalised against the club he supports, albeit in a 1–2 defeat. [34] On 8 June 2015, Akinfenwa extended his contract with Wimbledon, spurning interests from clubs in League One and Major League Soccer. [35] On 30 May 2016, after scoring a penalty in a 2–0 win against Plymouth Argyle in the League Two Play-off Final, Akinfenwa was released from his contract. [36] He told Sky Sports in his post-match interview: "I think I'm technically unemployed, so any managers hit me up on the WhatsApp and get me a job." [37]

Wycombe Wanderers

Following his departure from AFC Wimbledon, Akinfenwa signed for Wycombe Wanderers, initially on a one-year contract. [38]

In April 2018, he was nominated for the EFL League Two Player of the Season award. [39]

In May 2019 he was offered a new contract by Wycombe, [40] which he accepted on 12 June. [41] [42]

Career statistics

As of match played 29 February 2020
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueCup [lower-alpha 1] League CupFL Trophy [lower-alpha 2] Play-offs [lower-alpha 3] Europe [lower-alpha 4] Total
DivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
FK Atlantas 2001 [43] A Lyga 1843120235
2002 [43] A Lyga41000041
Total2253120276
Barry Town 2002–03 [44] Welsh Premier League 861096
2003–04 [44] Welsh Premier League10002030
Total961020126
Boston United 2003–04 [45] Third Division 3000001141
Leyton Orient 2003–04 [45] Third Division1010000020
Rushden & Diamonds 2003–04 [46] Second Division 0000000000
Doncaster Rovers 2003–04 [45] Third Division9400000094
Torquay United 2004–05 [47] League One 37141010224116
Swansea City 2005–06 [48] League One349101165204415
2006–07 [49] League One255411010316
Total5914512175207521
Millwall 2007–08 [50] League One7020000090
Northampton Town 2007–08 [50] League One157000000157
2008–09 [51] League One33130032003615
2009–10 [52] League Two 40172010104417
Total88372042109539
Gillingham 2010–11 [53] League Two44111010004611
Northampton Town 2011–12 [54] League Two39181010104218
2012–13 [55] League Two4116202031305117
Total8034303041309335
Gillingham 2013–14 [56] League One34102010003710
AFC Wimbledon 2014–15 [57] League Two45134110215215
2015–16 [58] League Two38600100032428
Total8319411021329423
Wycombe Wanderers 2016–17 [59] League Two42124210545218
2017–18 [60] League Two42173110004618
2018–19 [61] League One367002110398
2019–20 [62] League One32102010103610
Total1524693517417354
Career total62820034619424148240717226

Honours

FK Atlantas

Barry Town

Swansea City

AFC Wimbledon

Individual

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