Former Nottingham Forest striker Junior Agogo reveals battles with speech and confidence after suffering stroke


Former Nottingham Forest striker Junior Agogo has revealed how a stroke left him battling to communicate as his confidence was shattered.

Agogo suffered the stroke in January 2015 at the age of 36, two years after retiring.

He could not speak for three months, but has gradually regained his speech and is now seeing a speech and language therapist.

However, the former Ghana international admits his ordeal left his confidence shaken with his mother saying he can spend entire days in bed.

Agogo has spoken for the first time about his condition on BBC Four documentary Speechless.

Arron Davies, Junior Agogo, Matt Thornhill and Kris Commons celebrate promotion in 2008

“I was running with my dog. I was coming back home. I was near the Marriott Hotel and the stroke happened,” he said.

“When I woke up I was in hospital with my mum. I couldn’t speak. I was in a bad way.

“I had thoughts, but I was like where is my voice. I was baffled, man.”

He went to admit he hides away, saying “that’s life” as he appeared to become emotional.

Agogo began his career with QPR before going on to play for Barnet and Bristol Rovers. He joined Forest in 2006 and went on to score 23 goals in 74 appearances.

He left in 2008 to sign for Egyptian side Zamalek. His last professional appearance came in 2011 for Hibernian.

These days he lives in London with his dog called Blanket and his mother.

Nottingham Forest’s Junior Agogo and Swindon Town’s Hasney Aljofree

Agogo has recovered well physically, in part given his age. He was taken to hospital within an hour of suffering the stroke, which also made a major difference.

His flat is described as a shrine to his career in the documentary.

As well as shirts from Forest, Barnet and Rovers, he has ones from his international days with Ghana.

Framed shirts worn by Michael Essien, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o line the hallway.

“I’m alive. I’m well. Let’s get onto my football days,” he says, pointing to the shirts.

“Now nobody gets in touch with me. I used to talk to a couple of boys from the national team, but when the stroke happened they all said no, because I couldn’t speak.

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“I’m anxious about language. I can find the words, but I’m anxious if I get the word wrong.

“I want to speak like you three, that’s all,” he adds pointing to the film makers.

You can watch the entire documentary here .



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