Nigerian retired footballer and football manager, Adebayo Gbadebo has revealed how his career as a footballer was almost threatened due to his parents’ lack of support.
According to him, his parents stopped paying his school fees in his final year at the University of Ibadan for playing football and got invited to the Super Eagles.
Speaking as a Guest to the monthly Ex-University of Ibadan Footballers Association virtual interactive session, Gbadebo who is now a Pro-licensed coach in Thailand said “my parents did not support my going into Football.
“I was discouraged, though they knew that I was good in the game, but my father stood against it. The parents then only wants you to read and go to school all through.
“I thank God for that, if not I could not be here today as a graduate from the Premier University in Nigeria. I thank God for a father who will take his stand at every point, and remained on it”.
Adebayo who is the Head Coach of Suphanburi in the Thailand Premier League said his father warned him seriously not to play football in the University, but contrary to his expectations, he started playing for his hall of residence same week he resumed in the school, and played for the school team same year.
“I was playing for several clubs like 7Up FC, Union Bank FC and Railways FC. It was when I was with Railway that they decided to play in the second tier of the league then, and they moved the team to Lagos.
“When we went to NUGA games in Port Harcourt, I was selected to join the Super Eagles in camp. I was in the hall one afternoon, I was told that my father was looking for me. He came all the way from Lagos. I took him to my room, he brought out a newspaper and showed me a page, while asking me if that was my name among the players invited to Super Eagles camp.
“I answered in affirmative, he left there and then. I was in final year then. That was the end of his sponsoring me in school. Because, I disobeyed his order”
“I was not much bothered then, because I had a team, Railway FC, that were ready to pay me some sign-on fees, and good salary, I had to rough everything though, it involved my traveling to Lagos daily to train with the team. It also made me to remain focused to achieve what my parents doesn’t like, and what they liked. I was happy that at the end of the day, I did not disappoint them, neither did I disappoint myself “.
He finally advocated that combining football and education is a personal issue that the player would need to organize himself based on what he needs.
“It all depends on the quality of the player. If you are good, clubs will come for you and support you on how to succeed in your education. But, if you do not have the qualities, just concentrate on your education and finish up “he concluded.