Nottingham Forest Striker, Taiwo Awoniyi Recalls Going To Bed Without Food As A Child

Super Eagles striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, who plays for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League has opened up on overcoming the odds as he recalls going to bed without food as a child.


He joined Liverpool aged 18 but was not granted a work permit, so he had seven different loan spells in three countries before he signed for Forest last summer, for £17.5million, from Union Berlin.

Awoniyi, who now plays Nottingham Forest, started off the new season with a goal in the 2-1 defeat at Emirates Stadium last Saturday.

‘There is pressure in football but for many African players, growing up is difficult,’ he tells Mail Sport. ‘In some cases, they have seen the other side of life and that helps.


‘I’ve been in a situation as a child where I had to go to bed without food. Where I had to walk an hour just to get to a training ground.


‘My dad is a retired officer and his earnings were not enough to cater for the whole family so growing up was really tough. Sometimes you are the one who has to find means for yourself.


‘Of course, your mum and dad want to do everything they can for you but growing up, you see limits of what they can do. The best you can do is try to help as much as you can.


‘This is what really inspired me to be who I am today. It gave me the courage to think if I can go through all this, I can go through anything, even the worst parts of life.

‘Everyone wants to have a better life and I have adapted to many situations. Wherever I needed to go, I went. If it was Germany, Holland or the UK, that’s fine.


‘I’ve gone through different stages of difficulty and it helps me on the pitch. I’ve had to work things out for myself. It’s helpful to have been through those experiences.’


While Awoniyi performed well on loan in Holland, Belgium, and Germany, it was not enough to make the breakthrough at Liverpool, where Jurgen Klopp was in charge of one of Europe’s strongest squads.

After a conversation with Klopp, Awoniyi was persuaded to accept a permanent move to Union Berlin in 2021, after another impressive loan stint.


‘It was my first pre-season training camp with Liverpool when the offer from Union came in,’ recalls Awoniyi. ‘Jurgen Klopp told me, “I think it’s good for you, Taiwo, because if a club is really pushing for you then it shows how much they believe in you”.


‘Those words really stuck with me. He is someone I really respect a lot. When I was out on loan he would always keep in touch with me.


‘And after I scored the winner against Liverpool, he said, “Hey Taiwo, well played”. So many people from Liverpool texted me after the game saying, “We are happy for you, we are proud of your journey”. It was a great feeling.’

Why I Attempted To Plunge Into Lagoon – Lagos Socialite, Farida Sobowale Speaks

PHOTOS: WTO Director-General Okonjo-Iweala Visits Ukraine For First Time in 15 Years