Evergreen striker Jermain Defoe arrives at the national stadium on Saturday at the age of 35, still very much in the picture in the Premier League and on the international scene.
Having scoring 37 goals in 93 appearances – many of them crucial ones – at Sunderland, ‘JD’ was recalled to the senior England set-up and secured a club transfer to Bournemouth over the summer.
After emerging onto the Premier League stage as a youngster with West Ham, enjoying a loan spell with the Cherries in 2000-01, the front man initially arrived at Spurs in 2004, scoring on his debut in a thrilling 4-3 win against Portsmouth at White Hart Lane. Named our Player of the Year after his first 12 months with us, he continued to be a lively influence in the box, possessing a fierce shot – even without much back-lift – and scoring all types of goals before leaving us for Portsmouth in January, 2008.
A year later, though, the fans’ favourite was back home and swiftly back among the goals. He hit five in our 9-1 thrashing of Wigan at the Lane in November, 2009, and operated alongside a range of strike partners including Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Peter Crouch and, towards the end of his Spurs career, Emmanuel Adebayor.
In November, 2013, he overtook the great Martin Chivers as our all-time record goalscorer in Europe with 23 to his name, before leaving us for MLS outfit Toronto midway through 2013-14, where former Spurs team-mate Ryan Nelsen was manager. By the time he left the Lane, he’d racked up 363 appearances and 143 goals in our colours.
Jermain returned to England in January, 2015, to sign for Sunderland, making his debut at the Lane against us and went on to play a key role in helping the Black Cats survive relegation over the next two years. He joined Bournemouth after Sunderland went down this year and although he’s yet to hit top form for the Cherries, having netted once in their first seven top flight games this term, you wouldn’t bet against him hitting the target again soon.
After coming up through our youth system, right-back Adam Smith, now 26, had early loan spells with Wycombe Wanderers and Torquay United before joining Bournemouth, then in League One, on loan in 2010-11. He played regularly for the Cherries that season, scoring a stoppage-time equaliser in a 3-3 draw at Peterborough United on April Fools’ Day, before heading back out on loan to MK Dons and Leeds United.
He made his senior debut for us in a 2-0 home win over Fulham on the final day of the 2011-12 campaign before making his second and final appearance from the start in a 3-0 victory at Carlisle United in the League Cup in September, 2012. An England Under-21 international, he then spent time on loan at Millwall and Derby County before joining the Cherries on a permanent basis in January, 2014, where he has featured regularly.
On the other side of Bournemouth’s defence, 31-year-old left-back Charlie Daniels also emerged from our Academy system. He had loan spells at Chesterfield, Leyton Orient and Gillingham between 2007 and 2008 before leaving us for Orient in 2009 without making a competitive first team appearance in our colours. Team-mates with Harry Kane at Brisbane Road during the striker’s loan spell there in 2011, Charlie played 168 times for Orient, scoring four goals, before joining Bournemouth on loan in 2011, then linking up with them permanently the following year.
To date, he’s played 209 games for the Cherries, encapsulating their time across League One, the Championship and the Premier League, and has scored 16 goals.
We look forward to welcoming Jermain, Adam and Charlie to our temporary base at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE, on Saturday.