A former Nigerian national football team goalkeeper, Rachael Aladi Ayegba has dumped her football career to become a double-decker bus driver in London, the United Kingdom.
Ayegba donned the Super Falcons’ famous green and white jersey in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, the 2006 and 2008 African Women’s Championships.
The former goalie also enjoyed an 11-year stint as a professional footballer in Finland, winning the league title in 2013 with PK-35 Vantaa.
The 35-year-old, who moved to England in 2018, says she had visited London for years on holiday and always admired the double-decker buses
She now drives the number 185 between Lewisham and Victoria in a time the UK is battling with a crisis of driver shortage during the pandemic.
Ayegba works for Go-Ahead, the bus and train giant that operates about a fifth of the capital’s buses on behalf of TfL, where bus drivers reportedly earn as low as £26,000 and and as much as £31,000 and above.
Speaking to Standard UK, the 35-year-old said that “When you are trying to save the ball, you need safe hands. But there are ten others on your side. When you drive a bus, you are on your own.”
Ayegba, whose favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo, says she doesn’t play football anymore due to her age, though she has a coaching license.
“I am old. You have to know when to stop,” she said, adding that “Mentally you have to be 100% ready, if you are a goalkeeper the defenders can help you. You can’t make any mistakes driving a bus.”
KanyiDaily had also reported how a billionaire businessman and the Chairman of Udala Football Club, Chief Philip Udala, was killed by unknown gunmen in Anambra State.