Former Charlton winger Ademola Lookman: I came from a deprived background – I’d eat at friends’ houses

Former Charlton Athletic winger Ademola Lookman reckons his mum’s struggles when he was young gave him extra motivation to succeed in his football career.

The Peckham-raised player made 45 appearances and scored 10 goals for the Addicks after being plucked from Sunday league football. Lookman joined Everton for an undisclosed fee in January 2017.

Lookman, speaking in episode one of BT Sport’s South Of The River docuseries, said: “Being from a deprived area, a deprived background, that’s always behind you. 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 go: ‘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.

“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.

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

“Im grateful for the struggles, it made me who I am today.“



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