The Defoe review provides an authentically frank depiction of a renowned soccer player.

Estimated read time 2 min read


At first glance, it may seem unexpected for Jermain Defoe, a former player for Tottenham and England known for scoring goals, to have his own documentary, especially in a time where there are numerous streaming events. Unlike his England teammates Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, Defoe never reached the level of a super-elite player. He also did not gain the same endearing popularity in the public eye as his partner at Portsmouth and Tottenham, Peter Crouch. However, as described in this documentary, Defoe’s story follows the common narrative of going from rags to riches, a story often seen among modern footballers. Defoe’s journey was perhaps even more accelerated, as he showed exceptional talent as a student.

Defoe offers a disarming kind of honesty, mulling over the effect on his life of his largely absent father who, it appears, spent much of his time in a West Ham United-adjacent boozer, and expanding on his admiration for his unswervingly loyal mother. He also touches on a personal life that can only be described as “colourful”, suggesting that a need to not be seen as dependent left him something of a commitmentphobe, to put it mildly. (Even the undignified public scuffle over a failed paternity test gets a mention, with Defoe adamant he was delighted to be a father, as he thought he was going to be.) It is, however, his connection with Bradley Lowery, the six-year-old Sunderland supporter with neuroblastoma who died in 2017, that perhaps elevates Defoe’s story towards some kind of sense of redemption; it’s not too softhearted to agree that, yes, Lowery was the child Defoe has not yet had himself.

Overall, Defoe is portrayed positively in this film. Despite the fact that top-level sports stars are typically not introspective, Defoe stands out for his vulnerability, which is admirable in a film that could easily have been a promotional pitch for his future in management. The documentary itself is not groundbreaking, but it effectively conveys that Defoe desires more than just playing football in his life. He acknowledges that the sport is about more than just kicking a ball and his personal struggles are evident in his emotional scars.


You May Also Like

More From Author