1st August 1979 – 22nd August 2019
Everyone associated with the Bristol Rovers Former Players Association was saddened to learn of the death of former Rovers striker Junior Agogo at the age of 40.
Manuel Junior Agogo was born in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on 1st August 1979 and was with Chelsea as a schoolboy footballer, although he signed for Sheffield Wednesday in October 1996.
There followed loan spells with Oldham Athletic, Chester City, Chesterfield and Lincoln City before a move to America saw him turn out for Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes.
On his return to these shores he signed for Queens Park Rangers and, in June 2002 joined Barnet for what became just a solitary season.
It was at Underhill though where he became a prolific scorer (19 goals in less than 40 appearances), earning a move to BS7, joining Rovers, initially on trial, in June 2003. The deal became a permanent one after the trial period and, in three years with the Gas he scored 45 goals in 120 starts and 20 sub appearances.
Nottingham Forest paid £150,000 to secure his services in June 2006 and he later played for the Egyptian giants Zamalek and Apollon Limassol in Cyprus before appearing briefly for Hibernian in Scotland before retirement.
Blessed with blistering pace and a striker’s predatory instinct Junior scored a number of memorable goals for Rovers and after his move to Forest he also scored his first league hat-trick.
Along the way there were also 27 international caps, and 12 goals, for Ghana, including a stunning performance at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, the highlight of which was scoring the winner in the quarter final against rivals Nigeria. Ghana came 3rd overall and Junior was the Black Stars’ joint top scorer in the tournament (alongside Sulley Muntari), and the joint 5th highest scorer overall.
Junior was hospitalised in January 2015, after an apparent stroke, and in 2017 featured in a BBC TV programme about how strokes can adversely affect speech and language. We had some contact with his rehabilitation team, and progress was being made, so to hear of his passing at such a young age comes as quite a shock and our thoughts go out to his immediate family and friends.
by Keith Brookman, with contributions from Martin Bull