Adebayo Akinfenwa: The Footballer Who Was Doubted Because Of His Physique

Adebayo Ankinfenwa (Getty Images)

Adebayo Akinfenwa has been in the headlines of every top football news portal after helping his club, Wycombe Wanderers, make history in the League One play-off final on Monday, July 13, 2020.

Wycombe Wanderers secured promotion to play in the EFL Championship for the first time in 133 years after defeating Oxford United 2-1 at Wembley.

Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrating after Wycombe Wanderers secured promotion to the EFL Championship (Getty Images)

After the game, Akinfenwa went on his knees to thank God for this achievement.

Akinfenwa, who is also known as ‘The Beast’ for his huge and mascular physique, has been very influential for Wycombe, contributing 10 goals in 32 appearances in the 2019-20 season.

The 38-year-old striker was ecstatic about what he has achieved with Wycombe after he was rejected and ridiculed throughout his career.

Here some touching words from him after the game.

As stated above, Akinfenwa did not have it easy achieving his dream of becoming a successful footballer.

He was born Saheed Adebayo Akinfenwa on May 10, 1982, in Islington, North London and is of Nigerian descent.

His father is a Muslim and his mother is a Christian.

While Akinfenwa observed Islam practices like Ramadan as a child, he was later drawn to his mother’s faith and he is now a staunch Christian.

As a child, he supported Liverpool and his favourite player was John Barnes.

While growing up, numerous rugby clubs met with his family to convince him to switch sports because of his size and power, but he refused.

Adebayo Akinfenwa

According to him, he was told that he was too big to play football, and they still do, but that does not discourage him. He struggled to get football clubs to sign him because of his physique.

He started playing football as a teenager with the Watford Academy.

He later 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. He received racial abuse from fans in the country. The racial abuse he was receiving forced him to return to the UK early in 2003, where he joined Welsh Premier League champions Barry Town.

Since joining Barry Town, Akinfenwan has gone on to play for eleven different clubs in seventeen years (2003-2020).

The eleven clubs he played for are Boston United, Leyton Orient, Rushden & Diamonds, Doncaster Rovers, Torquay United, Swansea City, Millwall, Northampton Town, Gillingham, AFC Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers.

He has scored over 200 goals for all the clubs he has played for.

Adebayo Akinfenwa (image via Wycombe Wanderers)

Akinfenwa has become well known for being ranked as the strongest footballer in the world in various editions of the FIFA videogame series.

He reportedly weighs around 16 stone (101 kg) and can bench press 200 kg, almost double his own body weight.

Akinfenwa runs a clothing label called Beast Mode On, which plays on his strong man reputation.

His autobiography The Beast: My Story was published by Headline Publishing in 2017.


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