Nigerian-born former Liverpool of England star, Jon Otsemobor has recounted the nightmare he faced in the twilight of his career, as a myriad of injuries and off-field intrigues forced him out at 31.
Footballlive.ng reports that Otsemobor is looking back on his heyday, and recounts with nostalgia how he got his breakthrough at Anfield in startling fashion, only to implode in equally dramatic style years after.
A series of loan deals outside Anfield saw him struggle for fortunes and fame, only to return to Merseyside in search of a revival, which never cam, due to what he calls intrigue in the camp.
Otsemobor only ever made six appearances for Liverpool, yet his is a name no Reds fan of that era will ever forget. For just a year after his debut at Anfield, he was shot in the buttocks.
Born and raised in the Speke area of Liverpool to a Nigerian father and mother of Irish descent, Otsemobor did not play organised football until he was 13 but was soon spotted by both Everton and Liverpool, opting to join the latter’s academy.
Converted to right-back, he was a fixture in Liverpool’s reserves team all through the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons, where he caught the eye of the club’s first-team coaching staff.
Otsemobor vividly remembers the day in November 2002 when assistant manager Phil Thompson told him he would be starting a Worthington Cup tie at Anfield against Southampton.
Unfortunately for Otsemobor, injuries began to take their toll, and in 2014 he was advised to retire at the age of just 31 due to ongoing knee problems.
It was a bitter pill to swallow but Otsemobor is happy that, unlike many footballers who are forced to retire prematurely, he had something to fall back on, having invested in property.
However, despite becoming a successful businessman, the father of three admits he still struggles to watch football.
Otsemobor said: “For the best part of two years after I retired, I wanted to be a million miles from football and anyone to do with it.
“I couldn’t even play FIFA online with the lads because I didn’t want to listen to the conversations about upcoming games and I couldn’t accept the fact that I could not play football anymore.
“It’s got better over the last 16 months and I have been once to Anfield this season to watch a game – before then I couldn’t even remember the last time I had been back there.
“I hardly speak to any football mates anymore because I am not part of that world now.”