Earlier this week, an image emerged on social media showing Chelsea’s former academy player Callum Hudson-Odoi back in the year 2014. It was a goal being celebrated by none other than Samuel Eto’o during the Blues’ brilliant 3-1 win against Manchester United in January, a day which saw the Cameroonian bag a hat trick. A thirteen-year-old Callum couldn’t believe his eyes when the legendary striker came over to him for celebrations, holding the youngster’s hands and certainly making his day.
Five years later, Hudson-Odoi is now an integral part of his boyhood club’s squad and everyone around Chelsea are feverishly waiting for the winger to return from an injury he sustained back in April, as well as finally signing his shiny new contract. Before doing so, he decided to share his story of the recent ‘blast from the past’ on the official Chelsea website as he fondly chatted about his memories of that day.
“I remember him scoring a hat-trick and the third goal was near where I was sitting in the corner. He came over to celebrate. Obviously I was happy for the team because they’d won and for him as well. When he started celebrating, I was delighted and he just saw me, came over and held my hand. For a young boy seeing a professional footballer coming to do that for you, it was crazy. I was smiling so much.”
Eto’o had scored two goals in course of the first half and completed his hat trick in the early stages of the second. This is when the former Chelsea striker ran over to the corner flag and surprisingly started celebrating with a young Callum. Little did Chelsea fans know back then that this gesture would contribute in galvanizing one of the academy’s brightest and most talented graduates to ever emerge into pushing to become a first-team player. The rest, as one says, is history.
“You dream of being a professional as a kid, especially at the club I’ve now been at for so long. You think, “Can I become like him or at least get to the top where he is?” and I’m now fulfilling that dream. It’s the boyhood club I’ve always loved and played for, so I’ve always felt that that dream is there. Now I just want to carry on and keep going.” – Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: Chelsea FC
While it’s certainly a great story and a nice trip down memory lane, all eyes will continue to be on Hudson-Odoi for a different reason; the much-anticipated contract extension at his boyhood club, the club he loves, the club which gave him the opportunity to finally present himself on the biggest of stages. As a Chelsea fan, I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say: sign the contract as soon as possible, Callum, so that we can really fully enjoy moments like these in the future!
Written by Jimmy Funnell (Follow me @JimmyFunnellCFC on Twitter).