Akinfenwa retires in play-off final

Wycombe Wanderers' striker Adebayo Akinfenwa is set to retire after the Sky Bet League One play-off final

An image of Akinfenwa
Wycombe Wanderers' Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match at Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood. Saturday October 30, 2021. Taken by: Tim Markland

Veteran striker Adebayo Akinfenwa revealed he will play his final career game at Wembley Stadium in Wycombe Wanderers’ Sky Bet League One play-off final.

The Chairboys will face the winner of this evening’s League One play-off semi-final between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland. The Black Cats lead the Owls 1-0 heading into the second leg at Hillsborough.

Akinfenwa turns 40 tomorrow and he has decided to call time on his illustrious 20-year football career.

The forward will have the chance to end his career at the home of football as Wycombe’s 2-1 aggregate triumph over MK Dons secured the Buckinghamshire club a place in the play-off final.


Speaking to Sky Sports amongst the club’s on-field celebrations, Akinfenwa said: “I’m going to be 40 at Wembley.

“Starting out at Hackney Marshes and my last game is going to be at Wembley, and it’s with this club [Wycombe Wanderers].

“People are asking ‘what’s the secret?’ It’s our management staff, it’s our fans and this club allows you to be yourself. We stick together, there are no egos and this is the beautiful game. The secret [to our success] is the gaffer [Gareth Ainsworth].”

The 39-year-old admitted experiencing some nerves whilst remaining as an unused sub in Wycombe’s slender 1-0 defeat at Stadium MK last night.

“It [watching Wycombe from the side-lines] was nerve-wracking but we’ve got that togetherness and we got over the line,” he said.

“We’ve got one more hurdle to jump and there will be nothing better than to leave this club [by] getting promoted to the Championship.”

“You’ve got to beat anyone to get promoted. Believe, whoever it is, we will bring our sauce.”


The striker has led the League One club to the Championship previously by finishing as the club’s top goal scorer (with ten goals) in the their promotion winning 2019/20 season.

‘The Beast’ has made 666 career league appearances for 14 clubs since August 2002, notching 0.29 goals per game.

A third of Akinfenwa’s appearances have come in the blue shirts of Wycombe during a successful six-year stint with the club in the twilight years of his career.

The man from Islington also spent lengthy spells at Northampton Town (188 games, 74 goals), AFC Wimbledon (94 games, 23 goals), Gillingham (83 games, 21 goals) and Swansea City (75, 21 goals).

The likeable forward will retire a cult hero at Adams Park as one of the game’s most radiant personalities moves onto its next chapter.