jermain defoe - fact file

2004 - 2008 and 2009 - 2014      forward



Born on 7th October 1982 in Beckton, London, England.

Height : -  1.64 m (' ")

Weight : -  65.4 kgs (10 st 4lb)

Jermain Defoe is one of the most unlikely players to court controversy, but it seems to have followed him around during his career.

It all started when West Ham United signed him as a 16 year old from Charlton Athletic, who were outraged that they only had to settle for a small compensation payment in return for a player they had on their books since he was 10.

His schooling in East London had seen him attend St. Joachim's Primary School in Custom House and St. Bonaventures Secondary School in Forest Gate, but as part of his football education, Harry Redknapp sent the striker off to his former club AFC Bournemouth to get some first team experience.  Jermain scored 10 goals in 10 consecutive league games for the Cherries to equal a post-War goal-scoring record and in all, he hit 19 goals in 31 games for the South Coast club in a spell that made him into a better player.

At West Ham he came through their youth system with players such as Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand. 

He stayed at the club after some of the other big names had left, but his transfer request the day after the Irons had been relegated was taken as a snub by many of their fans and although he remained at the club for another six months, he was not popular among certain sections of the Boleyn Ground support.  When Spurs persisted in their interest in him at the end of the transfer window, West Ham were in need of the £6 million offered and Spurs had bagged themselves a bargain, while other clubs dithered over whether they would pay that much for the talented front man.

Defoe has the natural ability to score goals.  His touch in the box is good and he has the ability to manufacture a yard of space to get past a marker or engineer a shooting chance.  While his height might have been a factor for some clubs to query his ability to withstand the physical rigours of the Premiership, he has worked on his upper body strength to be able to hold up the ball and hold off defenders.

Some of his goals are outstanding for the power he can generate from hardly any back-lift, but the competition for starting places in the forward line at Tottenham has been strong, with Robbie Keane, Mido and Dimitar Berbatov all vying for two spots in the team.  Many say that Defoe and Keane cannot play together, but they have shown they can partner each other on occasions, while Jermain has linked well with both big men.

He had a major disappointment when left out of the 2006 England World Cup squad by Sven Goran Eriksson, but has shown good character in fighting to get his place in the Spurs team and the England squad back.

He scored the 14,000th goal in Premiership history in the game against Birmingham City on Boxing Day 2005.

Played the 250th senior game of his career at Blackburn Rovers on 19th November 2006.

Despite his appointment as captain in the Spurs Premier League game against Sunderland, the long reported interest in him came to fruition, as he left to join Portsmouth for a reported £9 million in the January transfer window, as he sought to get regular first team football and regain his England place.

In a strange twist of fate, manager Harry Redknapp left the South Coast club to take over as manager of Tottenham in October 2008 and in the following January transfer window, he made a move to bring the player back to White Hart Lane in a £15 million deal, of which Spurs only had to find the £5 million balance, once the money still owed to Tottenham for the purchases of Defoe, Pedro Mendes and Younes Kaboul and the £4 million sell-on clause money was taken into account.

When Defoe returned to Tottenham he hit some of the richest form of his career, culminating in the five goals he scored against Wigan Athletic at home in 2009 and another two hat-tricks that season as he forced his way into the ultimately disappointing England 2011 World Cup team that reached the second round in South Africa, thanks to Defoe's goal against Algeria.

Started the 2010-11 season very well for England, although he had been carrying a groin injury since the summer tournament, scoring a hat-trick against Bulgaria in a Euro 2012 qualifier before picking up an ankle ligament injury against Switzerland in the following game, which ruled him out for three months and the majority of the Spurs Champions League group matches.

His 2011-12 season was preceded by visits to a French fitness coach to build himself up for the coming campaign, but he was not always a first choice being used as a back up striker behind loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor.  When he was selected or came on from the bench, he maintained his good scoring rate, which carried on, with Jermain becoming the club's record European goal-scorer.  However, with lack of first team opportunities on a regular basis and with the World Cup coming up in the summer, Defoe agreed to join Toronto FC for £6 million in February 2014, bringing to an end his association as one of the club's best goal-scorers for a generation.

Jermain's stay in Canada didn't last long and in January 2015, he signed a 3 year deal with Sunderland, to play for manager Gus Poyet, who he played alongside in the Tottenham team.

Off the pitch, Defoe has had a string of model/celebrity girlfriends and attracted a lot of attention for a number of motoring offences, which also saw him take legal action against the Police for harassment when he was put into a Police cell hours before Spurs were due to fly off for an away game in Europe in 2009.

Also off the field, Defoe was linked with a string of glamorous girl-friends, who were invariably models, reality TV stars or pop stars, who he often broke up with after newspaper exposes.



Career Record (as of 29.12.2006)
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Charlton Athletic (Academy) ?? ?? ??  ?? ??
West Ham United (Scholarship) July 1999 - ??  ?? ??
West Ham United (Professional) October1999 £1,150,000 19th September 2000 v Walsall (League Cup) 105 41
AFC Bournemouth October 2000 - May 2001 Loan ??  31 19
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2nd February 2004 £7,000,000 7th February 2004 v Portsmouth (Home) (Premier League) Won 4-3 (scored once) 177 64
Portsmouth 31st January 2008 £9,000,000 ??  36 17
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 9th January 2009 £15,000,000 ?? - -
Toronto FC (Canada) 28th February 2014 £6,000,000 15th March 2014 v Seattle Sounders (Away) (MLS) Won 2-1 (scored twice) - -
Sunderland 16th January 2015 Undisclosed swap with Jozy Altidore  17th January 2015 v Tottenham Hotspur (Away) (Premier League)  Lost 1-2 - -
AFC Bournemouth 23rd June 2017 Free ??  - -
- - - ??  - -

Career Record
West Ham United
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
AFC Bournemouth (loan)
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
119 League appearances; 48 goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
Toronto FC (Canada)

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
AFC Bournemouth

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
- -

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

England international
35 caps (12+23 as sub); 10 goals (as of 12.08.2009)
23 cap; ?? goals
6 cap; ?? goals
8 cap; ?? goals
7 cap; ?? goals


50th Premier League goal - second goal scored against Wigan Athletic on 26th November 2006
50th goal for Tottenham - second goal scored against Aston Villa on 26th December 2006
250th career Premier League appearance - v Everton 09th May 2009
400th career total appearance - v Bolton Wanderers 1st May 2010
400th career league appearance - v Aston Villa 26th December 2012



Pastimes : - Cinema; Eating out at restaurants; Watching TV; Playing computer games (NBA Live)
Club supported as a boy : - Bordeaux
Boyhood hero : - Michael Jordan
Most difficult opponent : - Cristiano Ronaldo


Drove an Aston Martin Vantage, a Mercedes ML63 AMG and a Range Rover Sport 4.4 V8 HSE
Music : Likes Bob Marley, Marques Houston, Joe
Best goal for Spurs : One v Arsenal in the 4-5 defeat at White Hart Lane (13.11.2004)
Favourite other ground : Old Trafford
Role model when developing as a player : Ian Wright
Favourite superhero : The Incredible Hulk
Favourite subject at school : Art
Quietest in the dressing room : Steed Malbranque
Loudest in the dressing room : Didier Zokora
Team joker : Robbie Keane/Didier Zokora
First car : Vauxhall Tigra
Favourite holiday destination : St. Lucia

Got engaged on Valentine's Day to his model girlfriend Charlotte Meares.

Had a £3 million house built in Hertfordshire, with a £200,000 kitchen including two huge wine coolers containing 132 bottles of wine each, a 6' 4" tall American Sub-Zero fridge, two conventional Gaggneau ovens, a Gaggneau steam oven, a Gaggneau combination cooker, two conventional Wolf ovens, three stainless steel sinks, two dishwashers and two 42 inch plasma screens.  The breakfast bar is of Moro Oak, the work surfaces of "technical stone" (a man made material made to look like granite) with glass shards in to make it twinkle, a low-iron splash back and grey limestone slab flooring.  The kitchen was designed by Ennio Pedini.

Admitted to being a big Big Brother fan and having been fined for missing team meals on nights before games as he would rather watch the evictions from the reality TV programme.


Car driven : - Range Rover Sport
Was worth £5m and was = 30th richest man in British sport on the young rich list  (Sunday Times).


Do you enjoy travel ?  You do a lot as a footballer, so it can get quite boring, but I don't mind when I am going on holiday.

Your favourite country :  St. Lucia.

Favourite holiday destination : Dubai – you can chill out there, the food is good and the weather is always lovely, although it can be too hot.

Do you bring anything back from holiday ?  Whenever I go to Dubai I usually pick up some gold for myself or my Mum.

Favourite Journey :  Heading to White Hart Lane on a matchday. I get in the car, put some tunes on and start to feel the buzz of excitement as I make my way to the stadium. You can't beat it.

Longest ever walk :  The walk from my car to my mum's house after I've done something wrong and am about to get told off.

Favourite car :  I really like Range Rovers.  They're sporty, good to drive and I feel safe when I am driving one.

Favourite magazine :   I'll read Nuts and Zoo, but I'll read any football magazine.

Do you read much ?  :  Yes, although I only read autobiographies.  I've read ones from Diego Maradona and Ian Wright and the last one I read was Lennox Lewis' book.

Do you like music on the move or prefer radio/tv ?  :  Always music..

How many CDs have you got ? :  Loads.  I couldn't tell you how many, although most of them are downloaded onto my iPod.

Most played track ?  :  At the moment it's a funky house one mixed by my mate who's a DJ.

What would your Desert Island track be ? :  Not sure exactly which one, but it would be a Bob Marley tune.

Most embarrassing CD you have ?  :  I don't have any.  I've bought all mine and my friends and family know what I like.

What was the last DVD you watched ? :  I enjoy watching DVDs and the last one was “Cass” - the life story of a 1970s and 1980s football hooligan.

Most interesting all-time flight companion ?  :  Nelson Mandela.  I know all bout his story and I've been to South Africa a few times and know what an inspiration he is to the people there and around the world.

Whose dance moves did you copy as a child ? :  I didn't copy anyone, I had my own moves !  There was only one to copy and that was Michael Jackson.

Whose poster did you have on your bedroom wall ? :  Ian Wright was always a big hero of mine.

First footballing memory ? :  I remember playing for Senrab on Wanstead Flats when I was about 8.  .

Who was the best player among your mates ? :  I was !  Where I lived everyone used to talk about this lad called James Hyde, who was small, left-footed and a really good player. 

Favourite trick practised ? :  All I really wanted to do was score goals, so I used to practise shooting.

Other sports played at school ? :   Basketball, cricket and softball.
Did you have a pet as a child ? :  We used to have a budgie called Zuzu, who used to talk all the time.

What talent would you like ? :  I'd love to be able to sing.

Childhood ambition ? :  It was always to be a footballer.

What makes a house a home ?  :  Having the right people around you. 

Prize possession :  I've got my Nan's wedding ring, that has a lot of sentimental value for me.

What would you save if the house was on fire ?  My phone.

Do you refer living in the town or country ?  :  I prefer to live in the country, as long as it's not in the middle of nowhere.  I grew up in London and it's all a bit hectic.  Somewhere close to town, but not too far away would be ideal.

What are you most proud of ?  :  Probably what I have achieved in my life so far.  Lots of kids where I grew up in east London got in trouble and it would have been easy to go that way. I had the right people around me and worked hard and stayed focused to get where I am today.

What couldn't you live without  ?  :  I'd have to say my football – playing, training and just the buzz of being part of a great team and bunch of lads like we have here.  When I'm injured, I'm a bit of a nightmare, because I can't be involved.


Favourite goal ? : -  Arsenal in the 5-4 game at home in November 2004.  “I went past two or three players and hit a shot that went into the top corner via post and bar.  A good memory.”

Lives at Cuffley, Hertfordshire and “it's the first time I have lived in the country and the view over the fields is very special to me.”

Would like to be a singer.  Said “It would be such an amazing feeling to be up on stage performing your own music in front of thousands of people.”

Loves his food … “My mum's a great cook.  I'm always round there anyway, but I'll admit it is one of the big attractions.”

First ever senior goal was for West Ham United against Walsall and scored against Jimmy Walker – now Spurs back-up keeper.

Has a haircut every week.  Said “I can't stop, but you've got to be sharp to play sharp.”

Ledley King is a good bloke and his best mate at the club.

Loved the Teenage Ninja Mutant turtles when he was a kid and also Tom and Jerry for the fast action.

Old Trafford is his favourite away ground.

Starts a match-day with porridge, a blast of music and a shower.

Shaun-Wright Phillips is a good friend.   JD likes SWP because he is smaller than him.

Signing as a pro for West Ham United was one of the best days of his life, but he thinks he has been fortunate to have enjoyed many good memories in football.

Loves West Indian food.

Knows how big Tottenham are because having left the club he relishes being back now.

Summer 2010 (News of the World magazine)

... on going to the World Cup in South Africa ...  ". I'm really excited.  it will be amazing to play for my country in the World Cup.  I went to South Africa with Spurs for a pre-season game.  There were so many people at the airport, singing and chanting, it was like a carnival.  That was just a small game. So can you imagine what the World Cup is going to be like ?  It'll be crazy, magic.  Afterwards, I want to go on safari.  I'm not looking forward to the flight though."

... on flying ...  "I'm too nervous to sleep. I'm really jumpy and I worry about all the noises planes make and question whether I'm safe.  I prefer not to fly, but sometimes it is unavoidable."

... what he would do if he couldn't play football ...  "I used to dance when I was young, so I'd probably do something like that.  I can dance OK.  I love music.  I was dancing on a float in a school carnival when I was young and I loved it."

... never saying "Do you know who I am ?" ...  "It's unbelievable that people say that. Why do you need to say it. It's so stupid."

... what keeps him awake at night ...  "My mobile phone going off all the time.  It's usually mates or my cousin Stefan, who manages my diary, bugging em to remember work commitments when I'm trying to sleep."

... most extravagant purchase ...  "I bought a Ferrari 430.  It's black.  I don't know what it cost, but it wasn't cheap.  I bought it because I was being a boy.  It's fast and it looks good"

... generosity ...  "I always look after my sister and my Mum.  My little sister Chonte is spoilt.  I give her everything she wants - a car, a flat.  But I've only got one sister and my family mean everything to me."

... his biggest waste of money ...  "Cars, but they are important to footballers.  Everyone wants a nice car, but they're a waste of money really.  I have two - the Ferrari and a Range Rover.  Football is a short career and you have to treat your money right."

... chat-up lines ...  "I don't know because I just talk to girls.  I don't do chat-up lines.  Girls often tell me I;m being cheeky.  Being cheeky seems to work OK for me."

... guilty pleasure ...  "Fish and chips, which isn't very healthy is it ?  I don't really drink and I've never been so drunk that I can't remember what's happened to me.  I'm too scared to put myself in that situation.  I don't like being out of control."

... being a control freak ...  "I am a bit of a control freak.  If I get married, my wife isn't going out.  No way.  She's staying at home.  She's not going out to clubs without me.  I've already decided the rules, whoever she is."

... any regrets ? ...  "Getting sent off the pitch.  It's only happened to me once, but it didn't make me feel good about myself.  Last year, I got a driving ban for speeding too, which ended in April, so I'm back on the road now."

... if you could change a law, what would it be ? ...  "I'd make it a rule that school detentions are banned.  At 5.00 p.m. in the winter it's dark and young girls have to go home on the bus, which is dangerous.  If you want to punish them, keep them in at break o lunch-time instead.  It's safer for them."

... rate your looks out of ten ...  "Eleven.  I look like my Mum and she's beautiful."

... would you have plastic surgery ...  "Never.  I'm born like this and I don't need improving.  I'd be too scared to.  What if I didn't like the result ?"

... who would you want to be stuck in a lift with ? ...  "My Mum, because she hates lifts and I could calm her down.  I got in a lift with her the other day.  We were visiting someone in hospital.  I moved a bit and she was going mad.  She thought the lift would plummet to the ground."

... pet hate ...  "Bad manners and cats.  I prefer dogs.  I've got two Yorkshire Terriers that my Mum bought for me.  They're called Ronnie and Reggie, after the Kray twins.  They are yappy things, but good fun.  Cats aren't as lively as dogs."

... best advice you have been given ? ...  "My Mum has said loads of things that stick with me.  If I get down because I haven't scored in a few games, she ways, "Keep working hard and you'll get lucky."  Her other sayings include, "God works in mysterious ways" and, "If you have a gift, no one can take it away from you." "

... how do you relax ...  "I watch films, usually action movies that are pure escapism.  I like most films I've seen with Denzil Washington or Samuel L. Jackson.  They usually create characters that I buy into and I want to completely believe what ever chaos they are involved with.  They're brilliant actors."

... favourite post match treat ... rice pudding.



Was rated ninth best striker in the Opta statistics for the season 2009-10.


In the Sunday Times Sport Rich List, Defoe was named as the =31st richest man under 30 with a fortune estimated at £6 million.

In mid 2011, Defoe had his six bedroom mansion (with double garage and cinema) in Cuffley, Hertfordshire up for sale at £3.75 million.




What they said about Jermain Defoe
Ledley King ... on Defoe's ability to get his shot away 24.02.2010 (THFC programme)

"He can shift the ball and hit it from anywhere around the box.  He will hit shots before defenders have chance are set, he always hits the target and what he's doing well this season is poaching goals in the six yard box or two yards out – he's popping up everywhere.  I've trained against him so I know he's a nightmare to play against, especially for big centre-halves because the last thing you want is a little live-wire around your knees.”

His Mum ... on his dancing ... 05.06.2010 (Daily Mirror)

"He's a fantastic dancer.  He has all these caps and trophies for football, but he's got one for dancing too.  He won a prize for the whole of his school when he was little.  I was so proud of that - we've got the trophy in a cabinet with his football ones.

I've always said that if he didn't make it as a footballer, he would have been a professional dancer.  If he could go on Strictly or something when he retires from football, it would be so good."

His Mum ... on when he was young ... 05.06.2010 (Daily Mirror)

"Things weren't easy when Jermain was little.  I was a really young mum and at times couldn't afford to buy food.  But my parents were wonderful and helped me out.  I remember not having the fare to get Jem to football and I had to borrow it from them.  It was a struggle - every day there seemed to be some obstacle."

His Mum ... on how he treats his Mum ... 05.06.2010 (Daily Mirror)

"He treats me like a queen.  It might sound silly, but he always has and always will.  His success has change dour lives.  He's so generous.  He bought his sister Chonte a salon and he bought us a family home.  He didn't buy a flat for himself - no, he got a beautiful home we could all live in.  He moved out when he was 22 and bought us an even nicer house.  He's the best son I can imagine.  And not just because he has money now.  I know he'd look after me whatever, whether he's a Premiership footballer or he worked nine to five." 

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What Jermain Defoe said about ...
... Portsmouth fans claiming he worked an exit from Portsmouth to re-join Spurs ...  10.01.2009 (BBC website)

"That's not true because when I was at Tottenham last time not once did I moan. People are saying I spat my dummy out and just left. It's not like that, it was a fantastic opportunity."

Having gone to see Portsmouth manager Tony Adams to explain how he felt, he was told that he could go.

"Maybe I thought he would try harder to keep me but he knows what he wants to do.  He wants to bring his own players in and he wants to play five in midfield and one up front.  He showed that against Liverpool and Arsenal when I didn't play and he played Peter Crouch up front on his own. That's what he'll look to do now."

... on changing his boots before the Wigan Athletic game in November 2009 when he got five goals ...  (Hotspur  January 2010)

"The manager had said to me the day before the game that the green boots were unlucky so it was in my mind.  I had been wearing them in training and they were a bit tight, so I had to be careful anyway after breaking my foot last season.  I came out with them in warm-up and Clive Allen, added he had a bad feeling and that I should change them, so I did.  When I scored the third, he looked over to me and gestured to the boots."

... his hat trick for England against Bulgaria at Wembley in the Euro 2012 qualifier ...  04.09.2010 (The Independent)

"Look at the likes of Spain and Argentina – their strikers are not big. Some of the greatest players in the world over history have not been big. It is not to do with size, it is whether you can play and if your movement is good. It’s the sweetest hat-trick of my career."

... first hat-trick for Spurs v Southampton (H) 18.12.2004 ...  28.12.2004 (THFC programme)

"It was my first hat-trick for Tottenham and it was a special day for me.  It's funny, when you've scored two the third seems to come easily – a tap-in."

... ? ...  Summer 2010 (News of the World magazine)


... ? ...  Summer 2010 (News of the World magazine)


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Season League FA Cup League Cup UEFA Cup
2004-2005 - - - -
2005-2006 - - - -
2006-2007 - - - -
2008-2009 - - - -
2009-2010 - - - -
2010-2011 - - - -
- - - - -

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