August 12, 2022


Even Akinfenoa, who was told he was too old to play football, called up Sergio Ramos to injure Mohamed Salah in the 2018 Champions League final.

Back in 2015, Akinfenwa had a dream to look forward to when his Wimbledon team drew with Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.

Photo: scientific
Photo: scientific

Dones had defeated York City and Wycombe in the previous two rounds to set up the mega showdown at Plow Lane.

Gerrard opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a header, but Akinfenwa scored the equalizer in the 36th minute and was attacked by his teammates in some great scenes.

Wimbledon made a solid showing but in the end it was a moment of sheer quality from Gerrard that made the difference – and he told Akinfenwa, “Sorry, big man” before he produced it.

Photo: scientific
Photo: scientific

talking on The William Hill Stripped podcast, Akinfenwa said: “People ask who’s the best player I’ve played against. It’s Stevie G. And not just because he’s my idol, but because 20 minutes into that match [AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Liverpool]it was as if he had just decided, “I’m bored now, let’s score.”

“He picked up the ball on the halfway line, put it wide, went into the penalty area and headed it into the goal. That’s how it felt.

Later, Stevie took a free kick, and as I passed him, while he was taking the ball he said, ‘Sorry, big man.’ opportunity to return to Anfield.

Gerrard also removed one off the goal line in the match before his set-piece shot, which he just knew he was going to score.

Akinfenwa was denied his dream of playing at Anfield, but as a local he was given a Gerrard shirt – doing his best to pre-arrange it through former teammate Joe Allen.

However, he was so desperate to get it that he threatened his Wimbledon teammates if they got in his way.

He continued, “I told everyone I was going to get Gerrard’s shirt. I loved my Wimbledon teammates but threatened them. I’m not going to sugar-coat him. I said, ‘If any of you ask for a Stevie J shirt, it’s going to be a problem.'” I played with Joe Allen at Swansea, who was at Liverpool At that time, so I called him and arranged for him in advance.

‘I said, ‘Tell Stevie the big guy wants his shirt.’ And he texted me, ‘Stevie says he got you.’ I told the Wimbledon boys it would be a direct misunderstanding if I took his shirt. But Stevie was a guy who kept his word and we then accepted, Then I showed the world that he gave it to me.”



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