Jermain Colin Defoe (born 7 October 1982 in Beckton, London) is an English footballer who currently plays as a striker for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the England national team.
Defoe began his career with Charlton Athletic, joining their youth team at age fourteen, before moving to West Ham United aged sixteen, and rising through the ranks. He made his professional debut for West Ham in 2000, and after a season-long loan spell at Bournemouth during the 2000–01 season, established himself in the West Ham lineup. A move to Tottenham in 2004 soon followed, and Defoe also spent a year at Portsmouth after he was deemed surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane. He has since returned to Tottenham in the January 2009 transfer window.
Defoe made his England debut in 2004 and as of August 2009, has made 36 appearances, scoring 10 goals.
Defoe attended St Joachim Primary School in Custom House, London, and St Bonaventure`s Catholic Comprehensive School in Forest Gate, London. He joined the Sunday league team, Senrab, well known in London for producing players such as Lee Bowyer, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Ledley King, and then joined the FA National School of Excellence at Lilleshall, Shropshire, as a 14-year-old in 1997. He lives in Hertfordshire and is a Christian. He has dated British models and pop stars, including Charlotte Mears and Danielle Lloyd. In July 2009 he was dating Imogen Thomas.
On 24 April 2009, his 26 year old half-brother, Jade `Gavin` Defoe, known to many as the grime artist, Esco, died of head injuries following an assault in Leytonstone, London.
West Ham United
Defoe was spotted playing for Senrab by Charlton Athletic who enrolled him at the FA National School of Excellence at Lilleshall in 1997. Two years later, he took the controversial decision, aged 16, to turn professional with West Ham United, following which Charlton were subsequently awarded a compensation package rising to £1.4 million depending on Premiership and international appearances. At West Ham, he was a member of the Under-19 team that won the Premiership Academy title in 1999–00, scoring twice against Arsenal in the play-off final, and went on to make his first-team debut in a League Cup game against Walsall in September 2000, scoring the only goal in a 1–0 win.
The following season, he joined Second Division club Bournemouth on a near season-long loan, where he scored in ten consecutive games, equalling John Aldridge`s post-war record. He scored 19 goals in 29 appearances for Bournemouth. West Ham manager Harry Redknapp tipped him for stardom, saying, "He`s done great. I sent him out to Bournemouth to get some experience playing league football and he`s coped marvellously. To score 10 goals in 10 games is a terrific achievement. He`s a bright lad who`s full of confidence. Nothing knocks him, he`s a typical goal-scorer. If he misses, he`ll be there the next time looking for a goal. He`s a kid with a big future."
Defoe finished as the West Ham`s top scorer in the 2001–02 season despite being used primarily as a substitute by manager Glenn Roeder,scoring 14 goals in 39 league and cup appearances, including the only goal in a 1–0 away win against Manchester United in December 2001, as West Ham finished seventh in the Premiership. He scored a further 11 goals in 42 league and cup appearances in the 2002–03 season but was unable to prevent West Ham from being relegated.
Less than 24 hours after the club had been relegated, Defoe made a written request for a transfer, saying "As much as I love West Ham United I feel that now is the right time for me to move on in my career. This is very much a career decision. I am very ambitious and hungry to achieve at the highest levels of the game for both club and country." The timing of his request however drew criticism from both fans and team-mates and was turned down by the club. He later apologised to supporters, saying "I mishandled that move and I can only apologise. I`m young and I`ve learned from it. I still played my hardest for West Ham and gave them 100% and want to thank the fans for their support."
Defoe began the 2003–04 season with West Ham but a refusal to sign a new contract and disciplinary problems, including three sending offs, which saw him play only 22 games out of a possible 34, led to West Ham accepting an offer from Tottenham for him in the January transfer window. Defoe had scored 41 goals in 105 league and cup appearances for West Ham.
Defoe joined Tottenham in January 2004 for an initial fee of £6 million, rising to £7 million depending on "specific performance criteria", and with Bobby Zamora joining West Ham. Manager David Pleat said, "I can`t think of a British striker at his age who has achieved as much in such a short space of time. His
Full Name at Birth
Jermain Colin Defoe
Date of Birth
Claim to Fame