|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Wimbledon FC|
2016 06 04 Retrieve
[The enigmatic Adebayo Akinfenwa after his stoppage time penalty helped promote AFC Wimbledon to their highest level of English league football - the third tier - since their formation in 2002] I think I’m technically unemployed so any managers, hit me up on a WhatsApp and get me a job! It’s a beautiful thing, what dreams are made of, coming to Wembley, scoring, winning - we were the underdogs. It’s not only Leicester who can do it, AFC Wimbledon can do it. In Hackney [in 2002, we were] playing in the dark and now we’re playing at Wembley, the hallowed turf. It doesn’t get any better than that. I promise you, anybody can do it, keep working hard. For all those who said I was too big to play football, come on now - haaaa!
2020 07 09 Retrieve
[Adebayo Akinfenwa says he was called a ‘Fat Water Buffalo’ during play-off match] What should have been an evening of joy and excitement quickly turned into one of anger and frustration. Following the conclusion of the game, I learned that a representative of the opposition had repeatedly referred to me as a Fat ‘Water Buffalo’ in a derogatory tone. Regardless of whether or not there was deliberate racial intent by using that language and irrespective of the context in which it was used, if we are to make real and long standing change then we must strive to educate each other about these issues
We must work together to ensure those who have not and do not face racial prejudice understand that what may appear to them to be a throwaway remark can have such a big and hurtful impact. A Water Buffalo is a dark animal and as a black man I believe that you have dehumanised me, by associating me with a dark animal, as this was said in a derogatory manner. I feel passionately around raising this because we as a sport and as society must wake up. We must do more. We must educate ourselves and understand the potential repercussions of using such language and be aware of the hurt it can cause.
The bigger issue to me would be the lack of understanding as to why calling me this term would not be hurtful to me as a black man, and this must change. Taking a knee, supporting social media campaigns and wearing a logo on our kits is a start, but it is not enough. It will not result in real and long standing change. The real work must start now and the only way to move forward collectively is through education. We must all play our part. #BlackLivesMatter.
2020 07 11 Retrieve
[Adebayo Akinfenwa and Gareth Ainsworth - The Beast and his boss taking Wycombe to new heights] Sometimes football is a very selfish industry, but I think the reason Wycombe have had success and are being spoken about is because the gaffer concentrates so hard not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well and that is just as important. During lockdown, he called us literally to talk and ask how we were doing, genuinely to ask that question for our wellbeing. We always try and emulate what our gaffer is
We’ve got a general Whatsapp group with every single one of us in and then sometimes some people might not want to talk, so we’ll chat in a private group. We’ll put little memes or videos in there every couple of days and it’s just an extension of what we try to do every day on the training ground. It makes you appreciate what players in the squad do
The way I look at it, there has to be a hierarchy and I believe that we’ve all got egos and that they are good as long as they are kept in check. I’ve had many managers in my career and I know you have to be so comfortable to be able to ask others to run things and if it ever gets out of hand for them to come and speak to you. The gaffer has got to take credit for assembling a squad full of ability and characters who know how to blend - I just think that’s the hardest thing.
He gives us the power and the respect as individuals to tell us the standards he expects and for us to uphold them. The beautiful thing is that there are different characters, like myself who is a little louder, Matt Bloomfield, who is the most professional individual, Darius Charles, who is so passionate. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 38, respect comes first and foremost and though players come and go, the ethos has to stay.
The gaffer gives me the scope to go and do other things, so I try not to let him down because he puts that trust in me. Whoever I’m on the show with is different to me and I like different opinions, I like speaking from a footballer’s point of view rather than from a manager or coach’s point of view. We sit down, watch the game and break it down, plus I’ve never lost on a Saturday when I’ve come in on a Friday!
QPR rung me up during lockdown and asked if I wanted to host a quiz and then a few friends and fans said that Clint Hill had worn a tuxedo when he hosted the quiz the week before and that I had to beat that. I thought that only way I could beat that was to come on screen in full Gene Simmons makeup, which my wife Donna did in just an hour - it was spot on!
2020 07 14 Retrieve
[After Wycombe beat Oxford 2-1 at Wembley on Monday night] Let me tell you something, the only person who can hit me up on Whatsapp this time is Klopp, so we can celebrate together