All of that was left behind as he and his family made the 3,000-mile journey to London when Victor was just eight years old. It was a huge change in culture for the Adeboyejo’s – not least in terms of the climate (England is hardly renowned for its year-round sunshine).
But it was a decision that opened up many doors for Victor, who might not necessarily have been able to pursue a career in football had he not been uprooted to these shores.
“My parents were a lot stricter because of their upbringing – they had to do the normal working jobs like being a lawyer or a doctor,” said Vic. “When we came here, we saw that people were free to express themselves, my parents, at the time, didn’t necessarily know how to loosen up to that.
“But, as we grew and they understood the culture and the gifts that I had, they were able to ease up a bit because football isn’t something that I would have jumped into in Nigeria; I probably would have got that taken out of me and looked for something more serious. Coming here opened up opportunities for myself and my family to be whoever we wanted to be.
“It started off in school and my earliest memories are in year four or five and I remember that the teachers used to beg my parents to let me go and play football.
“There was a fee that we had to pay but, because the teachers wanted me to play, they told my parents that we didn’t have to pay if they would allow me to go. I’m thankful to those teachers at the time because they gave me the opportunity to express myself by doing sports and stuff.”
It wouldn’t be long until Victor was training with professional academies, starting with Millwall before spells with Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal and Everton before signing for AFC Wimbledon as a youngster.
After a year with the Wombles, he moved from south-west London across to south-east where he linked up with Charlton Athletic for a while before his breakthrough spell with Leyton Orient as a 16-year-old.
“At the time it was difficult but, for me, as long as I was playing football, I was happy,” stated Victor. “I always thought that I wished I was somewhere I where I could stay and grow but everyone has got their path in life, so wherever that path takes you, you’ve just got to enjoy the journey.
“When I was younger, it was just about enjoying football and playing football. Me and my friends always played and dreamed about making it, and when you’re getting these moves here and there it makes it feel a bit more real.
“But, at the time, it wasn’t necessarily will I make it, will I not, it was just about enjoying football and the moves were an exciting part of it – playing with new people and people who could maybe develop me.”
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