by Rachel Ogbu//
Nigerian-British football star, Eniola Aluko has been lending her voice to speak up for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and even the other towers affected by dodgy building work putting thousands more at risk in an advent of a fire. She tweeted recently:
Watching news stunned at this Camden evacuation. Does anyone know the name of the supplier/contractor co. who fitted this awful cladding?
— Eniola Aluko (@EniAlu) June 23, 2017
Aluko who plays forward for Chelsea (joined Chelsea Ladies in July 2007) just celebrated with her team wining 7-0 against Liverpool on 28 May 2017 during the Women’s Super League 1 but she still finds it difficult to comprehend the little or no media coverage women football receive in England. “No coverage at all in UK for women’s champions league final really worries me. Backwards step,” she tweeted last month.
Eniola Aluko studied Law at Brunel University and graduated with a First class degree in 2008, she has been playing football both semi-professional and professional since she was 14. From Leafield Athletic Ladies where she started her career Aluko went on to play for Birmingham City Ladies’ youth team, then Charlton Athletic, there her goal was the one goal that helped Charlton win the FA Women’s Community Shield in a 1–0 victory against Arsenal. She played with St. Louis in the US for a bit and returned back to England where she joined Chelsea in 2007. “For all my life I’ve always looked at performance to justify rewards you get,” Aluko told BBC Radio 5 live. “Sports people, athletes, young people, anybody in life – the message and values the England team represents should be about hard work, putting your best foot forward and getting rewards for that.”
When she was chosen to play for England, Aluko was quoted as clearing the air about representing her motherland, Nigeria. “The main thing for me is for people to understand that choosing to play for England doesn’t mean that I don’t support Nigeria. I’m as much Nigerian as I’m British. Of course, Nigeria means a lot to me, it’s part of me, but I’ve been brought up by English coaches,” she said.
You can imagine her disappointment when this year, the England manager Mark Sampson didn’t select her in his 23-strong squad for Euro 2017, making it the first time in 12 years that Aluko has not been selected by England for a major tournament.
This doesn’t stop Eniola Aluko from winning. She just won the golden boot last season, has also won the Chelsea Ladies’ Player of the Year for 2014–15, and she was selected in the 2015 PFA WSL Team of the Year. She was FA WSL top scorer in 2016, FA Women’s Young Player of the Year: Winner 2002–03 amongst many other awards.