African All Stars

‘My mum’s struggle gave me extra fuel and fire’ – Leicester City’s Lookman

21:08 EAT 24/11/2021
Ademola Lookman - Leicester City
The Anglo-Nigerian recalled how he fought against all odds to make himself a professional footballer

Leicester City forward Ademola Lookman revealed that he had to eat at his friends’ homes while growing up because of his family's struggles.

The 24-year-old, who has born to Nigerian parents in London, recalled that there was no food in his mother's apartment when he returned home from training.

Lookman first started his football development at a youth club, Waterloo, before he switched to the Charlton Athletic academy in 2014 where he later made his professional debut in November 2015.

He said his mother took up several jobs in England to make ends meet and her absence gave him more time to play football while his father was staying back in Nigeria.

“Being from a deprived area, a deprived background, that’s always behind you," Lookman said in a BT Sport docuseries, via Leicester Mercury.

"Coming home from football, because I knew there was no food at home, I’d eat at my friends’ houses.

“At that time I wasn’t going to go to my mum’s room and ask: ‘Mum why is there no food?’ She was away from home quite a lot doing cleaning jobs, being a dinner lady.

“My dad was working back in Nigeria. My older sister used to look after me when mum was away. Left alone at the house, [meant] more time to play football."

The former Charlton Athletic forward is currently on a season-long loan at the King Power Stadium from RB Leipzig.

He went on to praise his mother for her strength which has made him become a great player at the present moment.

“My mum never once put pressure on me. I could see it was a struggle for my mum. She never showed me that. She’s the toughest character I know," he continued.

“Seeing my mum struggle gave me extra fuel and fire. But that drive, that feeling of I can do this, it was love.

“I'm grateful for the struggles, it made me who I am today.”

This season, Lookman has scored two goals in 12 appearances for Leicester City across all competitions.

Last month, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation – Amaju Pinnick - disclosed that the former England youth international is excited about playing for the Super Eagles and he is close to completing his nationality switch.