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Akpo Sodje
Akpo Sodje.png
Personal information
Full name Idoro Akpoeyere Ujoma Sodje
Date of birth 31 January 1981 (1981-01-31) (age 28)
Place of birth Greenwich, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current club Charlton Athletic
Number 33
Youth career
Dynamos FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001 Queens Park Rangers 0 (0)
2001 Stevenage Borough (loan) 3 (1)
2001–2002 Margate 17 (3)
2002 Gravesend & Northfleet 7 (2)
2002–2003 Heybridge Swifts 31 (7)
2003–2004 Erith & Belvedere 21 (18)
2004–2005 Huddersfield Town 7 (0)
2005 Darlington (loan) 7 (1)
2005–2006 Darlington 36 (8)
2006–2007 Port Vale 46 (14)
2007– Sheffield Wednesday 38 (9)
2009– Charlton Athletic (loan) 8 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:28, 25 November 2009 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Idoro Akpoeyere Ujoma "Akpo" Sodje (born 31 January 1981) is an English footballer of Nigerian heritage, currently playing for Charlton Athletic of League One, on loan from Sheffield Wednesday.

A striker, he has also played at league clubs Darlington and Port Vale. A journeyman player, his two years at Sheffield Wednesday is the longest he has spent at one club. Usually an instantly recognisable figure on the pitch, he often sports original - and most of all colourful hairstyles.


Family sporting connections

Born in Greenwich, London, his family originate from Warri, in Delta State, Nigeria.[1] Sodje has four brothers who also play football; three of them professionally and one semi-professionally. Sam is currently at Charlton Athletic. Efe, the eldest of the four, currently plays for League Two side Bury. Both Sam and Efe have represented Nigeria at international level. Meanwhile Steve has never played a Football League game.

Another brother, Bright, used to play rugby league for Sheffield Eagles. His cousin Onome Sodje played for Charlton Athletic and Conference side York City before signing for Barnsley in June 2009.

Akpo is the youngest of the ten Sodje children.[1]

"I am very proud to come from the Sodje family, which is a very big family. I want to thank our dad and mum for the sacrifices they made in bringing us up. We are all very close, Bright, Sam, Efe, and the rest. I am number 10 among the children, and they all treat me as their pet because I am the youngest member of the family."
Akpo speaking of his remarkable sporting family.[1]

Playing career


Early career

"When I was playing in Warri, I started as a defender. The coach whom I played under said I was fast and tall, and because of these qualities he saw in me, he converted me to a striker... I started playing in England when I was just about seven years old; and as I was growing up, I started from the lower divisions."
Sodje explains his early career.[1]

He was signed to First Division Queens Park Rangers, though never made an appearance, instead was loaned out to Conference National outfit Stevenage Borough in March 2001.[2] He scored on his first outing for the club, in a 2-1 win at Morecambe on 31 March, replacing Darran Hay on 36 minutes.

He was still with Stevenage for the start of the 2001–02 season, getting sent off against Doncaster Rovers on 27 August. He left Broadhall Way the next month for Margate, making sixteen appearances before the season's end, scoring goals against Yeovil Town, Woking and Hayes.

He began 2002–03 with Margate, playing in their 2-0 defeat at Leigh Genesis on 31 August. The next month he joined Gravesend & Northfleet, scoring on his debut on the 7th, in a 4-1 home win over Nuneaton Borough. Seven days later he scored against Forest Green Rovers, before he made his final appearance on 2 November, getting sent off in a 2-1 defeat at Halifax Town. He was released later in the month and had spells with virtual unknowns Heybridge Swifts (Isthmian League) and Erith & Belvedere (Southern Football League).

At age 24 (at the time he was often reported as 22 or 23), he got a second chance at a professional career, joining Huddersfield Town of League One.[3] He was handed a three month deal in September 2004, his foot in the door because his brother Efe was captain of the club.[4] He replaced Andy Booth 86 minutes into a 3-0 win at Vale Park on 11 September, Paweł Abbott grabbing the headlines with a hat-trick. In November his contract was extended by six months, allowing him further time to impress boss Peter Jackson.[5] In all he made nine appearances for the Terriers in 2004–05, getting just two starts and impressing only in the reserves. In March 2005 he was loaned out to League Two Darlington, after impressing on trial,[6] and scored in the final moments of the season in a 3-1 home win over Cheltenham Town. He was released by Huddersfield in May.[7]

He spent 2005–06 with Darlington. He made 39 appearances, scoring eight goals, including a hat-trick at Chester City in a 4-4 draw on 27 August. His performances caught the eye of Port Vale's manager Martin Foyle, who won his signature in May 2006.[8]

Port Vale

On 5 August 2006, his prolific strike partnership with Leon Constantine had begun - Constantine scoring a brace and Sodje putting the third past Leyton Orient in a 3-0 win. Three days later he scored the only goal at Boundary Park. The pair teamed up to put one each past Preston North End in the League Cup, by the season's end the pair had 42 goals, sixteen coming from Sodje. On 10 March 2007, he also became the first Port Vale player to score four goals in an away league match since Lewis Campbell in 1893, as Vale completed a 5–1 victory at Millmoor against Rotherham United.[1] His hat-trick came in just 18 minutes to break a spell of eight games without scoring.[9] Awarded with the player of the year award, he stated his aim of trying to beat Constantine's 26 goals last season and try to get Vale into the Championship in 2007–08.

As it was he didn't score any for Vale, instead he signed a three year contract with Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee in August 2007.[10] The bid (believed to be around £300,00) was made after Sodje was placed on the transer list, at his own request.[11] At the same time, Wednesday were also attempting to buy Sam from Reading,[12] though the deal did not go through.

Sheffield Wednesday

He made his debut by coming on as a substitute for Jermaine Johnson in the 63rd minute on 1 September 2007 at Hillsborough, against Bristol City in a 1–0 loss. His full debut came in another 1–0 loss against Preston at Deepdale on 15 September. He scored his first goal for the club on 3 November away at Plymouth Argyle in the 52nd minute to help his club win 2–1. After not scoring in his first six starts and two substitute appearances his first goal spurred him on to score a total of seven league goals in 16 starts and three substitute appearances in his first season at the club, including a brace in a 5–0 victory over Southampton on 10 November. After being hailed by some Wednesdayites as "The black David Hirst", because of his strength and determination, Sodje cemented his place in Wednesday folklore with the opening goal in their 2–0 win over fierce rivals Sheffield United on 19 January.[10] Unfortunately for his new fans, his season was cut short by an ankle injury in February.[13] Despite this setback, he was still voted striker of the year by fans of the club.[14]

Sodje started the 2008–09 season by scoring two goals and setting one up for strike partner Marcus Tudgay in a 4–1 win over Burnley. However he also picked up a hamstring injury in the match and had to be substituted after just 21 minutes.[15] He made his return coming off of the bench for Jermaine Johnson after 68 minutes against local rivals Sheffield United. Injury limited him to only nine further appearances that season. He picked up a hamstring injury in April.[16]

Charlton Athletic

On 14 November, Sodje joined his brother Sam at Charlton Athletic. Initially signed on a 28 day emergency loan, this signing was made with an option of making the deal permanent.[17] He made his debut on the same day, coming on for Dave Mooney. Sodje scored at Yeovil Town seven days later, after his brother was sent off.




  1. ^ a b c d e Ocholi, Danusa (24 February 2009). "Nigerian Soccer Stars Abroad". Newswatch. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  2. ^ "Stevenage sign Sodje". BBC Sport. 29 March, 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  3. ^ "Terriers net striker Sodje". BBC Sport. 2 September, 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  4. ^ "Huddersfield sign Sodje". BBC Sport. 2 September, 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  5. ^ "Sodje earns extension at Terriers". BBC Sport. 24 November, 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  6. ^ "Sodje out to impress at Quakers". BBC Sport. 8 March, 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  7. ^ "Striker Sodje leaves Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 11 May, 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  8. ^ "Boss adds trio to Port Vale squad". BBC Sport. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  9. ^ Henderson, Charlie (14 March 2007). "Vale's Sodje salutes Foyle's role". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  10. ^ a b "Akpo Sodje signs for the owls on a three year deal". 30 Aug 2007.,,10304~1101899,00.html.  
  11. ^ "Owls swoop to sign striker Sodje". BBC Sport. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  12. ^ "Owls boss bids for Sodje brothers". BBC Sport. 27 August 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  13. ^ "Boss Laws bemoans loss of Sodje". BBC Sport. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  14. ^ "Beevers Is YOUR Player Of The Year!". 22 Apr 2008.,,10304~1295830,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  15. ^ "Sodje suffers fresh injury blow". BBC Sport. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  16. ^ "Sodje ruled out of season run-in". BBC Sport. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  17. ^ "Addicks sign Sodje number two". 14 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-15.  

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