Dreams come true if you put your mind to it.
“I knew it would be hard. No success comes easy especially for someone like me. I have learnt to pick my battles and focus on victory”.
That best explains the amazing journey of Bamgbopa Abayomi Alabi; an amputee footballer who from obscurity rose to stardom.
Bamgbopa prides himself as the first Nigerian to play professional amputee football in Europe.
He is the only foreigner playing in Poland where he has already developed a cult following.
Born in Kano, Bamgbopa hails from Ogun State and grew up in the rocky city of Abeokuta with no form of disability in his initial stages of life.
Starting out at the Bode Ijaiye Primary school, he later attended the Lisabi Secondary school and it was at this stage that he was involved in an accident.
That incident ought to have put paid to his ambition of being a professional footballer, but it didn’t.
“I was determined that I would not let the accident end my dream or render me useless.
“Aside wanting to play football, I also had the talent of signing so that was my plan B”, Bamgbopa told Bounce News in an exclusive interview.
Bamgbopa’s first adventure into sports was through power-lifting before he was fascinated and joined the Nigerian amputee football team.
“Even though I was staying in Abeokuta, I regularly came to Lagos for training and it was quite exciting because I liked what I was doing.”
Bamgbopa represented Nigeria at two Nations Cups; first in Liberia and then Ghana where the country’s amputee team qualified for the World Cup but could not go to Mexico owing to paucity of funds.
“We were the only team that qualified for the world cup in Mexico and didn’t show up; it was quite discouraging but I made the resolve that I would continue to work hard and look for better opportunities.”
That better opportunity did come for Bamgbopa who was invited to France for trial and thus wrote his name in Gold as Nigeria’s first amputee player In Europe.
It turned out to be that France was only a transit base as the Nigerian amputee star was invited to Poland to further exhibit his skills.
Bamgbopa started out with Lampart Warzawa but he now plays for Varsofia.
“I am grateful for how God has helped me this far, I pray he continues to cover me more and more and also family” he enthused.