Former Arsenal and current Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor‘s life was changed by football. From being one who could not walk to one who plays football for a living. This surely is one of God’s miracle, or so the Togo international believes.
Adebayor was unable to walk for the first four years of his life, and hope was fading for the young lad and his family, when a miraculous event occurred. The 4-year old with his mother had travelled all around Africa hoping for a cure for the child’s disability, however after failing everywhere, they reached a church, where the miracle happened.
While laying down in the ground of the church with his mother, who had lost all hope following a week’s stay there a ball landed near the child, and the first person to stand up and chase the ball was the previously crippled 4-year-old Adebayor.
“I did not walk for the first four years of my life,” says Adebayor.
“My mum took me to Nigeria, Lagos, Ghana and all the villages in Africa but nothing happened.
“It got to the stage where they took me to a church and told my mum they’d pray for me for a week. They said that, if I did not walk by the end of that week, it meant I would never walk.
“It was a strange thing to say and you can understand why Mum was crying.
“They started praying at midnight on the Sunday. All the week, I’m not walking. By Saturday midnight my mum was all over the place, crying. For her, it was all over. She had taken me everywhere in Africa and nothing had worked.
“Anyway, I was in the church laying down and, around nine or ten o’clock on the Sunday morning, I could hear children playing outside.
“Suddenly somebody kicked a ball into the church. And the first person to stand up and run was me, because I wanted to get that ball.
“My mum was afraid because she had never even seen me walking and suddenly I was running after a ball. And all the people in the church who had been praying for me told my mum, ‘Your son is walking because of football. It must mean the boy has football in his blood.’
“It’s an amazing story. But it is true. My mum has told me about it all my life.”
This miraculous event has had a definitive effect on Adebayor, who remains a strongly religious man while having close affinity to the church.
“Everything I do in life I put in the hands of God, my creator,” says Adebayor.
“He gave me the chance to be where I am today and He’s the one that can take it all away from me. So at the team hotel, I pray before sleeping and I pray again in the morning. There is nothing more important for me than God.”
“Eight years ago I was earning pennies. I know what it is to have nothing. I know where I came from and will always remember that.”