Calvin Bassey: Story of resilience and determination

By Ralph Egbu 

Calvin Bassey was only 6 years old when his father abandoned his mum and his 3 other brothers in Italy where he was born.

His mother had to move to the Uk with her 4 sons settling in one of the roughest parts of London called “Newham”, a place Bassey said at the time was like a “War Zone”.

Kids were being stabbed and killed due to gang violence and Bassey lost 2 of his mates that period with one shot dead, it was “deadly” area at the time.

There was only two ways to survival, either you end up in a gang or you play football, and Calvin Bassey chose to play the beautiful game, football but things only got worse.

As a teenager, no club wanted him, he went to trials at Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Wolves, Leyton Orient, Charlton Athletic and Barnet, and all these clubs said NO to him.

Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic rejected him twice but the rejection of Charlton was the one that hit him the most as he spent time doing trials at the club not just once but twice and both times the club rejected him.

He felt if a club can reject me twice, it meant he wasn’t really good enough.

He thought of giving up on his dream of playing football professionally but decided to give it one final push.

He said to himself, “I’m going all out, and if I don’t get a club, I’m quitting” and that was when he got a “Do-or-die” trial at Leicester City.

He was playing as a LeftBack and 13 left-backs had already done trials before him and got rejected, so he felt he stood no chance at all.

Due to he felt he stood no chance, he just played with freedom and had fun and that was what got him signed to Leicester City at the age of 15 years.

Now imagine the mental strength of a teenager that got rejected by 6 clubs and yet kept going, that’s an elite mentality.

He couldn’t believe he was signed and went late to school that morning. His teachers got angry asking him why he was late, he told them he was getting signed by Leicester, they doubted him until he showed them pictures.
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