Jermain Defoe Profile

Name Jermain Defoe
Born Oct 07, 1982
Age 39 years
Birthplace Beckton, England
Height 5ft 7ins

Formerly one of the Premier League's most feared strikers, Defoe retired aged 39, after spending his last season at Sunderland.

Jermain Defoe is a former striker, who retired in 2022 as the ninth-highest Premier League goalscorer of all time (162 goals)

The English striker was known for his deadly finishing in the English Premier League with clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth, and was considered one of the league's best during his peak years.

Born in east London, Defoe burst onto the scene for West Ham in 1999 and managed to piece together an impressive 23-year career before hanging up his boots in 2022.

London upbringing at West Ham United

Jermain Defoe, West Ham, 2003

After shining at his local community club, Defoe joined the FA National School of Excellence before joining Charlton Athletic. Then, when he turned 16, he signed his first professional contract with West Ham, who would eventually pay £1.7 million in compensation to Charlton.

Defoe was part of the youth team at West Ham that won the 1999/2000 Premier Academy League. The team featured other future stars such as Joe Cole and Michael Carrick.

The young striker made his first team debut for the Hammers in 2000 during a League Cup match against Walsall, where he scored in a 1-0 win.

Shortly after, he joined AFC Bournemouth on loan, and while on the South Coast he netted in 10 consecutive matches to equal a club record. He went on to score 18 goals in his loan spell and it was immediately clear that Defoe's knack for goalscoring would make him a star in years to come.

During the 2001/02 season, Defoe was used somewhat sparingly by manager Glenn Roeder, but defied the odds to end the campaign as his team's top scorer. His 14 goals across all competitions helped West Ham outperform their expectations, as they climbed to seventh in the league.

However, his 11 goals in the following season was not enough to keep West Ham afloat and they were relegated from the Premier League. Less than 24 hours after they lost their top-flight status, Defoe handed in a transfer request - a decision that was heavily criticised by fans.

He later apologised and began the 2003/04 season with the club, but his refusal to sign a new contract paired with frequent disciplinary issues led to West Ham accepting an offer from Tottenham Hotspur in the next transfer window. In his time at Upton Park, Defoe scored 38 times in 103 games.

Moving to north London with Tottenham Hotspur

Jermain Defoe, Tottenham Hotspur, 2006

The fee of Defoe's switch from West Ham to Tottenham Hotspur was reported to be £6million, rising to £7 million.

The 21-year-old had already gained a reputation as one of the brightest striking prospects produced in this country. He scored on his Spurs debut in a 4-3 win against Portsmouth, and scored six more times in the second half of the season.

In the following season, Defoe was prolific in all competitions, scoring 13 league goals alongside nine in nine appearances in cup competitions. He received the club's Player of the Year award in 2004, emphasising just how vital his goals were for his new side.

Despite speculation linking him away, Defoe signed a lucrative new deal at White Hart Lane in 2005. However, facing competition from Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Mido for his position, his goalscoring rapidly slowed down.

Joining Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth

Jermain Defoe, Portsmouth, 2008

After struggling to nail down a starting spot at Spurs, Defoe made a £7.5million move to Portsmouth in January 2008

Just as he had at Tottenham, Defoe scored on his debut - this time against Chelsea in a 1-1 draw. He hit the ground running, and scored consecutively in his first five home matches, becoming the first Pompey player to do so.

Because he had made earlier appearances in the FA Cup that season with Spurs, Defoe was cup-tied for Portsmouth, and so missed out on winning a medal when they beat Cardiff in the final. He also missed out on his former side's League Cup conquest, but did receive a medal from Spurs ten years later, in 2018.

Overall, Defoe's first season at Portsmouth ended with a respectable eight goals in 12 games.

In the subsequent campaign, Defoe contributed in both of Portsmouth's first four wins of the season. He scored two goals in matches against Everton and Middlesbrough and then a goal in each of the games against former club Tottenham and Stoke City.

With Portsmouth having reached Europe for the first time, Defoe shined in their first showing, contributing a goal and assist against Portuguese side Vitoria in a 2-1 win.

Pompey lost all four of Defoe's last games for the club before he returned to Tottenham Hotspur in January 2009.

Return to Tottenham

Jermain Defoe, Tottenham, 2014

After rejoining the club midseason, Defoe only featured in eight league matches because of injury. It kept him sidelined from Spurs' League Cup final match against Manchester United which the Red Devils ended up winning on penalties. Spurs ended the Premier League season in eighth.

The next campaign, though, saw Defoe back to his best under Harry Redknapp - who had joined Spurs just two months before Defoe's return.

Defoe scored a hat-trick in only the second game of the season in a 5-1 win against Hull City. In August, Defoe scored seven goals for club and country and earned the Premier League Player of the Month award. In a fixture against Manchester United, he scored an overhead kick less than a minute into the game, taking his league tally to five in five.

Later that season, Jermain Defoe scored five goals in a single match during Spurs' 9-1 win over Wigan Athletic.

At the time it was the second-fastest hat-trick scored in Premier League history, and he also became only the third player to score five goals in one league match after Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole.

Defoe was putting his name forward to be England's main striker, and he strengthened his claim for the spot with his third hat-trick in a matter of months - this time against Leeds United in the FA Cup. He ended the season with an impressive 24 goals.

The 2010/11 season was not as productive for the London-born striker - he only netted four goals in 22 league matches.

He was ruled out between September and November with an ankle injury and didn't score his first league goal of the season until March. It did turn out to be a memorable strike though, it was his 100th in the top flight, and also the 1,000th scored by a Tottenham player during the Premier League era.

Defoe again struggled to get going in the next season. He ended up scoring 11 goals in 25 Premier League appearances. It was clearly enough to warrant a new contract though, and Defoe signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the start of the 2012/13 season.

In October of that season, Defoe scored his 200th club career goal, and a couple of weeks after rediscovered his shooting boots with a hat-trick against Maribor in the Europa League.

Defoe had differing fortunes in the following season in both the Europa League and the Premier League. Manager Andre Villas-Boas used Defoe as a starting striker in Europe and he delivered, scoring in every match he played and recording seven goals in five games.

These goals helped him become Tottenham's highest-ever scorer in European competitions with 23. However, in league action he only started a handful of games and only scored one goal after falling out of favour.

In total, Defoe scored 143 goals in 362 appearances for the club, making him the fifth highest-scorer in the history of the club. Harry Kane has since gone on to surpass Defoe, knocking him down to sixth.

MLS move to Toronto

In February 2014, Defoe moved to Toronto FC to play in MLS, his first move outside of England.

Once again he scored on his debut, netting both goals in a 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders. In the 2014 campaign he netted 11 goals in 19 MLS appearances.

But despite his good scoring record, Defoe's time at Toronto was limited due to apparent home sickness, and he quickly sought a move back to England.

Return to England with Sunderland

Jermain Defoe, Sunderland, 2017

After a brief loan spell back at Tottenham, Sunderland signed Jermain Defoe in 2015 as part of a swap deal with Toronto for USA international Jozy Altidore. He made his debut for the Black Cats a day later but failed to score, ending his record of scoring on his first appearance for every club he had played for.

Defoe had netted two Premier League goals for Sunderland before he scored his most significant goal for the club, a volley in the Tyne-Wear derby to give Dick Advocaat his first win as the manager.

He was a crucial part of the squad in the following 2015/16 season, scoring 15 league goals and helping Sunderland maintain their Premier League status. He also netted two hat-tricks, including one against Swansea City in the league. He was named the club's Player of the Season and signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until 2019.

Once again in the 2016/17 campaign, the striker found the net 15 times in the league with the majority coming in the first half of the season. This time, though, Defoe's goals were not enough to save Sunderland, and their relegation prompted him to make another move.

Defoe rejoined Bournemouth in the summer of 2017 under the management of Eddie Howe. He was sidelined for a large proportion of the season and only mustered four top flight goals. This, though, meant that he had scored in 17 consecutive Premier League seasons.

Scottish journey with Rangers

Jermain Defoe rangers Oct 20

After only making a handful of appearances for Bournemouth in the first half of the 2018/19 season, Jermain Defoe moved north of the border to Rangers on an 18-month loan deal.

In January 2019, he kept up his impressive record by scoring on his debut against Kilmarnock. In the second half of the season he was able to score eight goals for his new team.

At the start of 2020 it was announced Defoe had signed a pre-contract with Rangers, meaning he would move permanently to the Gers in the summer. During the 2019/20 season he found the scoresheet on 17 separate occasions in all competitions. They finished second in the Scottish Premiership and qualified for the Europa League as a result.

In October 2020, the experienced poacher recorded his 300th club goal, a landmark that very few have reached in professional football. He scored seven goals across all competitions and helped Rangers win the title, their first in ten years.

He signed a new one-year contract with the reigning champions in June 2021. As part of the contract, it was agreed the 39-year-old would also take up a coaching role at Ibrox.

In November, after manager Steven Gerrard left to join Premier League side Aston Villa, it was announced that Defoe would act as part of the caretaker team at Rangers while they looked for a new manager. Just days later, Giovanni van Bronckhurst was announced as the side's new boss.

Return to the Black Cats

Jermain Defoe returns to Sunderland

In the 2022 January transfer window, Defoe made a late switch back to Sunderland, where he had previously spent three seasons between 2015-17.

Defoe only made seven League Open appearances for the side however, with the 39-year-old calling it time on his dazzling career in March.

Defoe retired having scored 227 goals in 624 appearances, including 20 in 57 appearances for England.

Three Lions career

Jermain Defoe, England, 2012

While playing for West Ham and on loan at Bournemouth, Jermain Defoe made his England Under-21's debut against Mexico and scored the second goal in a 3-0 win. He would make 23 appearances for England at this level, netting seven times.

Between 2004 and 2017 the lethal striker would play 57 times for England, making his debut under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2004 aged 21. In that 13 year period he scored 20 goals, including one at the 2010 World Cup against Slovenia, which helped his nation progress to the Round of 16.

Defoe was controversially left out of the 2006 World Cup squad and arguably deserved many more caps having had such a successful career as a goal scorer.

His last two international appearances came in 2017, having not featured for his country since 2014. He scored his last international goal against Lithuania in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Before this match, Defoe led the team out at Wembley accompanied by Bradley Lowery, a terminally ill Sunderland fan, who suffered with neuroblastoma.

Personal life

Defoe was born to a Dominican father and a mother of Saint Lucian descent and grew up in Beckton in London. At a young age Defoe played for Senrab, known for producing other talents such as John Terry, Ledley King and Ashley Cole. After that he joined the FA National School of Excellence before joining Charlton Athletic.

Defoe is a practising Roman Catholic. In 2017 he adopted a vegan diet in order to prolong his football career. He is also teetotal.

Net worth

According to, Defoe's estimated net worth is $20million. 

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