The Efe Obada story: From London streets to sacking Tom Brady

Planet Sport talks to British NFL star Efe Obada as he joins the Washington Commanders, his third team in the league, after a tough upbringing in London.

There are not too many good news stories around these days, but the continued success of British defensive end Efe Obada in the NFL is certainly one of them.

Obada's story has been well-publicised but remains an incredible message of hope for anyone who finds themselves living in hard times - as he's gone from a homeless youngster in London to playing in the NFL and sacking the league's best ever player in Tom Brady.

It's of huge credit to Obada that he's made such a life for himself and his family, as he's signed with the Washington Commanders for the upcoming season - his third NFL team after battling his way through trials at a number of sides.

He was spotted playing for the London Warriors, when even doing that was an incredible success given he left Nigeria as a boy to go to the Netherlands before being separated from his parents and ending up on the streets of London with his sister.

Despite all this, Obada carries himself with incredible class, dignity and assurance and there's no doubt that, despite all the trappings and financial rewards that come with an NFL contract - he's first and foremost a family man.

Efe Obada on sacking Tom Brady

British NFL star Efe Obada
British NFL star Efe Obada

When Planet Sport got to ask Obada a few questions following him signing with the Commanders, we just had to ask him about 'that' sack on the GOAT Tom Brady.

Which just so happened to come not too far apart from his also getting his hands on another elite QB in Aaron Rodgers.

Obada insisted he had his game head on so was unaware what a big deal it was to bring down Brady.

"When you're out there you're just competing," Obada told Planet Sport. "The names and the fact he's the greatest of all time in his position goes out of the window, you're competing.

"I didn't know how huge it was getting that Tom Brady sack was until I got back to my locker and my phone was just blowing up with "You just sacked Tom Brady".

"I didn't know, I was just focused on winning at the time."

Providing for my family my greatest achievement

Obada has now spent five seasons in the NFL, with the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills before moving to Washington, and just still being in the league represents a big success story.

Anyone who has watched the TV series Hard Knocks will have seen just how tough it is just to get on to a final NFL roster, and most will also know that it's a pretty lucrative achievement when you do.

Despite getting on three teams now, and sacking Brady and Rodgers, Obada remains as grounded an athlete as you could wish to meet, and knows what his greatest achievement is.

"Just being able to provide," he says. "That's it, in it's simplest form, it's being able to provide for my family.

"It's an amazing opportunity and an amazing job - just still being around the NFL and being able to provide for my family is my greatest achievement."

Efe Obada - trailblazer for British NFL hopefuls

Obada now represents hope and belief for a young generation of NFL fans in the UK who want to follow in his footsteps over to America to play in the league.

He does work with the NFL Academy and youth causes in and around London if there's one person young people would do well to learn from it's Obada, who has overcome adversity like almost no other.

He's honest enough to admit that plenty of these youngsters coming up know more about the game of American Football than he does, having come to it so late in life, but he's got the blueprint for success for them to follow.

When quizzed by the youngsters, Obada's advice is just as much about life experience as it is about getting opportunities to play in the NFL.

"I don't really feel like a trailblazer, but it is great to come back here and see so much interest in the NFL, it's gone from playing FIFA to play Madden and that's amazing," Obada added.

"A lot of these 14, 15-year-old kids know a lot more about the NFL than I do! I came to it quite late.

"My advice would be very individual to the particular person I'm speaking to. My main advice is to stay in school, keep your grades up and try and seek out those opportunities in the USA.

"It's not just football though, I've got that life experience that I can talk to them about, and some of them are going through something similar and I'm able to try and advise them on that as well."

READ MORE: Ranking Tom Brady's seven Super Bowl wins

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