John Salako

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John Salako
Personal information
Full name John Akin Salako[1]
Date of birth (1969-02-11) 11 February 1969 (age 47)
Place of birth Ibadan, Nigeria
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Crystal Palace
(1st Team Coach)
Youth career
Westerham FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1995 Crystal Palace 215 (22)
1989 Swansea City (loan) 13 (3)
1995–1998 Coventry City 72 (4)
1998 Bolton Wanderers (loan) 7 (0)
1998–1999 Fulham 10 (1)
1999–2001 Charlton Athletic 47 (2)
2001–2004 Reading 111 (13)
2004–2005 Brentford 35 (4)
Total 510 (49)
National team
1991 England 5 (0)
Teams managed
2009– Crystal Palace (U16s)
2015- Crystal Palace (1st Team Coach)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Akin Salako (born 11 February 1969) is an English former professional footballer, sports television pundit and first team coach of Premier League side Crystal Palace.

Born in Nigeria, Salako played as a midfielder from 1986 until 2005, he notably played in the Premier League for Crystal Palace, Coventry City and Charlton Athletic, in the Football League for Swansea City, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham, Reading and Brentford. He represented England at senior level, earning five caps, all during 1991 while he was a Crystal Palace player.[2]

Playing career[edit]

A fast and imaginative player, Salako began his career at Crystal Palace in the mid 1980s, and was their regular left winger by the time they won promotion to the First Division in 1989. He was also in the side for the 1990 FA Cup Final, picking up a runners-up medal after they drew 3-3 with Manchester United before losing the replay 1-0. A year later, he helped Palace finish third in the league. Late in the 1990-91 season, he memorably scored twice for Palace in their 3-0 home win over Manchester United in the league.

However, a serious knee injury suffered in a league match against Leeds United ruled him out until the following season, when Palace were founder members of the FA Premier League but finished the season relegated. Salako helped them get straight back up, but they went down again the following season despite reaching the semi-finals of both cups.

Salako left Palace in August 1995, signing for Coventry City. He spent three seasons at Coventry, spending a brief period on loan at Bolton Wanderers, before signing for Fulham in Division Two. At Fulham he scored twice, once in the league against Macclesfield,[3] and again in the League Cup against Cardiff City.[4][5] After Fulham he played for Charlton Athletic and Reading, before ending his career at Brentford

Coaching career[edit]

He has coached Crystal Palace under 16 team, working with former teammate Mark Bright.[6] On 8 August 2015, he was announced as Crystal Palace first team coach.[citation needed] In 2005, Salako was voted into Palace's Centenary XI.

Media career[edit]

Salako now works as a matchday correspondent on Sky Sports.

Personal life[edit]

As a teenager, he lived in Westerham, Kent and was a student at The Wildernesse School in Sevenoaks, where he excelled at football. He now lives in Woldingham, Surrey. In 2013, Salako was reported to be bankrupt, due to a series of business deals having gone wrong.[7] He is the brother of footballer Andy Salako.


  1. ^ "John Salako". Footballzz. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  2. ^ John SALAKO - League appearances. - Crystal Palace FC
  3. ^ "Looking Back - 8th August 1998". Macclesfield Town FC. 8 August 1998. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Fixtures & Results Tuesday, 18 August 1998". Sporting Life. 18 August 2008. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Rewind Report". Fulham FC. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Palace Legends Join Academy Set Up". Crystal Palace FC. 11 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  7. ^ John Salako is bankrupt: Former Premier League football star loses fortune in bad investments - Mirror Online

External links[edit]