Adebola pictured in 2008 while at Bristol City
|Full name||Bamberdele Olusegun Adebola|
|Date of birth||23 June 1975|
|Place of birth||Lagos, Nigeria|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|1993–1994||→ Bangor City (loan)||4||(2)|
|1994||→ Northwich Victoria (loan)||16||(7)|
|2002||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||5||(0)|
|2004||→ Burnley (loan)||3||(1)|
|2004||→ Bradford City (loan)||15||(3)|
|2012||→ Notts County (loan)||6||(1)|
|2013||→ Wrexham (loan)||13||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:00, 24 August, 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Lagos, Lagos State, Adebola was brought up in Liverpool after arriving in England with his family; as a schoolboy, he played in the same representative sides as Robbie Fowler. When offered a YTS place by Liverpool, the team he supported, he believed that trying to progress as a fellow left-footed striker at the club at the same time as Fowler would not be a good idea. Consequently he accepted a similar offer from Crewe Alexandra.
He made his first team debut in the 1992–93 season in the Third Division at the age of 17, and in the following season gained experience by playing on loan at Bangor City in the Welsh Premier League and Conference side Northwich Victoria. He made a significant impact for Crewe in 1996–97, his 16 goals proving crucial in the club's gaining promotion to the First Division.
He soon proved himself capable of scoring goals at that level, and attracted interest from several bigger clubs. Disappointed when Crewe rejected an offer for him from West Ham, he made it clear to the club that he wanted to leave, and reluctantly the club made him available for transfer. In February 1998 Adebola was signed by manager Trevor Francis for fellow First Division club Birmingham City for a fee of £1 million.
With seven goals in the remainder of that season, and scoring in each of his first five matches (in all competitions) in 1998–99, his future at Birmingham looked bright. In his first full season he scored 13 goals, but in 1999–2000 he was less productive, fell out of favour, and at the end of the season was put on the transfer list. Las Palmas, newly promoted to La Liga, announced that they had signed him, only for the move to fall through on medical grounds.
Though remaining on the transfer list, he was restored to the first team, and his goals helped Birmingham to reach the 2001 Football League Cup Final. The manager said he kept him on the transfer list in order to provoke him into the sort of performance commensurate with his power, pace and technical ability but which his "laid-back" character might otherwise inhibit.
A serious knee injury, sustained later that season when the player slid into a goalpost, effectively marked the end of his Birmingham career. A spell on loan at Oldham Athletic towards the end of the 2001–02 season helped him back to fitness, but new manager Steve Bruce chose not to renew his contract.
In August 2002, Adebola signed a one-year contract with Crystal Palace, after impressing former manager Trevor Francis in a trial. He played one season at the club, where he proved his fitness, making 48 appearances in all competitions.
Again released at the end of that season, Gary McAllister took him to Coventry City, where he initially failed to find any form, finishing the season out on loan to Burnley, ironically a club that had been keen to buy him before his injury. At Burnley he scored once in three appearances, his goal coming against Watford.
Another loan spell followed, this time at Bradford City where he scored three goals. It was only when recalled to the Coventry side on a regular basis in 2004–05, first under Peter Reid and particularly under Micky Adams, playing with the likes of Stern John and Gary McSheffrey that his form picked up.
On 30 January 2008, Adebola signed an 18-month contract with Bristol City, moving for an undisclosed fee, despite Coventry wanting to renew his deal, which was due to end in the summer. Adebola made his debut on 2 February in a 3–0 defeat away to Queens Park Rangers but scored in just seven minutes on his home debut to help City defeat Sheffield Wednesday 2–1. His performances in the 2008–09 season, during which he scored 10 goals from 42 appearances, earned him the club's Player of the Year award. The player rejected the club's offer of a year's extension to his contract, claiming he had been offered a two-year deal elsewhere.
It was announced on 30 June 2009 that Adebola had signed a two-year contract with Nottingham Forest. He joined them on a free transfer after rejecting a one-year deal at Bristol City. Adebola struggled to hold down a regular place in the Forest side in the 2009–10 season. He was mainly restricted to substitute appearances, finding himself below Dexter Blackstock and Robert Earnshaw in the pecking order, but he did manage to force his way into the Forest team, particularly away from home, towards the end of the season. He scored a late consolation goal for Forest in the Playoff semi-final second leg against Blackpool.
He entered contract negotiations with Hull City at the end of the 2010–11 season. On 29 June it was confirmed that Adebola signed a one-year contract. He made his debut in the first game of the season on 5 August 2011 at the KC Stadium in the 1–0 defeat to Blackpool. On 20 March 2012 Adebola went on loan to League One club Notts County for the remainder of the 2011–12 season.
On 7 August 2012, Adebola signed a one-year-deal with League Two side Rochdale. Under manager John Coleman, Adebola made 26 appearances in League 2 for Rochdale, but when Keith Hill took over as Rochdale manager after the sacking of Coleman, Hill made it clear he wanted to let Adebola leave the club.
In February 2013, he signed on loan for Conference leaders Wrexham, subject to international clearance. On 2 March 2013 Adebola made his debut for Wrexham in a 1–1 draw in a Conference National match at The Racecourse against Alfreton Town. Adebola made 13 appearances for Wrexham scoring twice against Lincoln City and Ebbsfleet United and also played at Wembley Stadium in the Conference National play-off final against Newport County which Wrexham lost 2–0 condemning the Dragons to a 6th season in non-league, Adebola came on in the 88th minute replacing Jay Harris. That was Adebola's last game for Wrexham before returning to Rochdale; upon his return, he was released by manager Keith Hill.
In March 1998 new Northern Ireland manager Lawrie McMenemy, on discovering Adebola to be a British citizen born abroad and therefore eligible to play for any of the home countries, selected him for his first match in charge, a friendly against Slovakia. Adebola had to withdraw due to injury, but did express an interest in playing for the country. He was also selected in Nigeria's provisional squad for the 1998 World Cup, but failed to make the cut.
Both Northern Ireland and Nigeria continued their pursuit of the player; in October 1998 McMenemy reported that he was unwilling to play for Nigeria, and did not want to commit to Northern Ireland because he had his sights set on playing for England.
In March 1999, McMenemy made a final abortive attempt to persuade him to play for Northern Ireland. Despite his lack of form at club level, he was however still sufficiently highly rated by the Nigerian selectors to be included in the preliminary squad for the 2000 African Cup of Nations and, following talks with coach Jo Bonfrere, in the squad for a World Cup qualifier in July 2000.
However, he did not accept any of these invitations.
- As of match played 29 November 2011.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Total|
|1994–95||Crewe Alexandra||Second Division||30||8||0||0||0||0||30||8|
|2001–02||Oldham Athletic (loan)||Second Division||5||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|2002–03||Crystal Palace||First Division||39||5||4||0||5||2||48||7|
|2004–05||Bradford City (loan)||Championship||15||3||0||0||0||0||15||3|
- with Crewe Alexandra
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/02/2013 and 28/02/2013" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 9781845966010.
- Jon Culley (24 February 2001). "Adebola out to upstage an old idol". The Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Sky Blues watching Adebola transfer race". 4thegame.com. 5 November 1997. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Adebola set to move on". Messenger Newspapers. 7 November 1997. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Shock as Adebola quits". BBC Sport. 1 July 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Adebola looking forward to a Blue final". ESPN Soccernet. 9 January 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Francis wants Burchill permanently". BBC Sport. 13 December 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Clarets target's injury shock". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 4 May 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Palace sign Adebola". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 14 August 2002. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "Francis wants to keep Clarets target Adebola". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 25 November 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Burnley 2–3 Watford". BBC Sport. 12 April 2004. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
- "Adebola extends Bantams loan deal". BBC Sport. 13 October 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2008.
- "Bristol City sign striker Adebola". BBC Sport. 31 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "QPR 3–0 Bristol City". BBC Sport. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "Bristol City 2–1 Sheff Wed". BBC Sport. 9 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- "Adebola scoops Bristol City award". Bristol Evening Post. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- "Tigers Complete Adebola Signing". Hull City A.F.C. 29 June 2011. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Hull 0-1 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- "Dele Adebola joins Rochdale after Reece Gray injury". BBC Sport. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- "Dele Adebola moves to Wrexham on loan from Rochdale". BBC Sport. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- "MAJOR NEW SIGNING FOR RUSHALL OLYMPIC". Rushall Olympic F.C. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "N Ireland shock as McMenemy picks Nigerian". Irish Independent. 13 March 1998. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- David Anderson (24 March 1998). "Adebola to miss Slovakia clash". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Player profile". Crewe Alexandra F.C. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- David Anderson (9 October 1998). "McMenemy scours leagues for talent". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- David Anderson (25 March 1999). "McMenemy is ignoring Germany in crisis claims". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Sports Digest". Irish Examiner. 14 December 1999. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Adebola called into Nigeria squad". BBC Sport. 30 June 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2007.