SCORING a hat-trick on debut for your boyhood club is the stuff of dreams.

And that was just the start of a memorable season that saw Leicester City, somehow and miraculously, win the Premier League.

But while the Foxes have slipped into the Championship, Joe Dodoo’s career has fizzled into obscurity.

Now he now finds himself unemployed without a club and training alone in a local park aged just 28.

Dodoo was born in Ghana and moved to England when he was eight.

Five years later he joined Leicester’s academy, progressing through the youth ranks until he got the nod from Claudio Ranieri for their League Cup second-round tie away at Bury.



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Dodoo started on the right-wing – with N’Golo Kante on the left – behind a two-man attack of Andrej Kramaric and Leonardo Ulloa at Gigg Lane.

And the then-20-year-old repaid Ranieri’s faith in handing him his first match in senior football, blasting into the top corner on 25 minutes.

Dodoo then set up Kramaric to make it 2-0 before half-time and added two late goals of his own in the closing minutes to seal a 4-1 win and secure his treble.

Dodoo said: “You had to be outstanding at Leicester to get your opportunity. I was doing well every year for the academy and the Under-23s, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough until Ranieri came.

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“I was waiting for my chance. I grew up around Jeff Schlupp and Liam Moore and aged 14 I was playing with them, although they were a lot bigger and older than me.

“I had trained with the first team and that made me ready for it. When the opportunity came, I knew exactly what to do. I think having good players around you helps as well.

“N’Golo and I made our debuts together in that cup game. He played on the left-hand side that night and I thought he was a winger. I didn’t know he was a central midfielder at first.

“There were some really good players in the side that day. The reason why I said I wasn’t nervous at all and why I expected to do well was because I looked in the changing room. I looked at the players I was about to play with and I thought, ‘This just can’t go wrong here’.

“When you have these senior pros around you and they have such standards it is difficult for it to go wrong.”

Four days later, the one-cap England U18 international forward came off the bench to replace Marc Albrighton in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth to make his one and only Premier League appearance. 

And he backed up his League Cup hat-trick with a goal in the next round as Leicester beat West Ham 2-1 after extra-time. 

But unlikely to get many more minutes ahead of the likes of Albrighton, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy during City’s incredible march to the title, Dodoo actually joined Bury on a one-month loan.

However, Dodoo returned to the King Power in December 2015 – but did not get another appearance as the club defied 5,000-1 odds to win the Premier League by ten points.

At the end of the season, though, Dodoo left Leicester and signed a four-year contract with Rangers.

The Scottish giants paid a £250,000 development fee and the attacker made an immediate impact with a goal on his debut three days after joining Gers. 


He managed five goals in 27 appearances and had loans with Charlton and Blackpool before signing on a permanent deal with Bolton in 2019.

Dodoo had a brief stint in Turkey at Ankara Keciorengucu then headed back to League One with Wigan.

He joined Doncaster for the 2021-22 season, scoring eight goals in 39 games, and spent part of last season with Burton.

However, after failing to score in 11 appearances for the Brewers, he was let go in January and remains without a club. 

Dodoo is keeping himself fit and working hard by training alone, desperate to resurrect his football career. 

Speaking to The Athletic in the summer, the ex-Leicester man said: “There are opportunities. I am just waiting to see what is the best fit for me and the way I play, and the right environment for me.

“I just need to polish up on a few things. I have had a pretty solid career so far. It’s been good. There has been a lot of adversity, a lot of issues. Covid-19 was a big problem for me as I was due to come back to a pretty good level and that messed up a lot of things.

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“It’s been really up and down, but I’ve been really happy with the way I dealt with it and how I’ve been on the pitch because it’s been really good still in terms of my contribution on the pitch.

“I am just looking to move forward now.”

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