A former Nigerian footballer, Adebayo Gbadebo, on Monday revealed how his father stopped paying his tuition following a call-up to the Super Eagles.
Speaking at a virtual interactive session at the monthly Ex-University of Ibadan Footballers Association on Sunday, Gbadebo who is now head coach of Suphanburi in the Thailand Premier League, revealed that his parents did not support football.
The footballer said that he vowed to achieve his goals and take care of his parents at the same time.
According to The PUNCH, the 46-year-old was able to make it through school with the sign-on fee from a club he played for but it didn't come without a sacrifice.
He said, "My parents did not support my going into football. I was discouraged. Though they knew that I was good in the game, my father stood against it. Parents then only wanted you to go to school. I thank God for that, if not I could not be here today as a graduate of the premier university in Nigeria. I thank God for a father who will take his stand at every point, and remain on it.
"I was playing for several clubs like 7Up, Union Bank and Railways. It was when I was with Railways that they decided to play in the second tier of the league, and they moved the team to Lagos. When we went for 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 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 the Super Eagles camp. I answered in the affirmative, he left there and then. I was in my final year then. That was the end of his sponsoring me in school because I disobeyed his orders.
"I was not much bothered then, because I had a team, Railway FC, that were ready to pay me some sign-on fees, and a good salary. I had to rough everything though, it involved my travelling to Lagos daily to train with the team. It also made me remain focused to achieve what my parents didn'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."
While encouraging other footballers on the need to get an education, the 46-year-old added, "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."