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Bobby Zamora

Bobby Zamora
Norwich Career: Youth
Current Club: Retired
Date of Birth: 16/01/1981 (London) 
Nationality: English

Biography

Bobby Zamora is another player to have flourished after his release by the Canaries (see also Ade Akinbiyi, Jamie Cureton, Dion Dublin etc.). Thankfully for Norwich's embarassment, other sides also overlooked Barking-born Bobby's talents. He was at West Ham from the age of 11 til 14 having signed from Sunday side Senrab along with John Terry (Chelsea), JLloyd Samuel (Aston Villa), Paul Konchesky (Charlton) and West Ham products Joe Cole and Michael Carrick. Bobby left the Hammers after a falling out with the coaches and spent a brief spell with Chelsea before joining the Canaries. He was released at the age of 15 for being too short to become a professional. Southend offered him a traineeship but he rejected it, chosing to move to Bristol Rovers as it meant living away from home.

He made his mark during loan spells to Bath and Brighton, the latter destination seeing 6 goals in 6 league appearances. As Bobby had not scored in his 4 appearances for Rovers, they were happy to sell him to Brighton in the summer of 2000 for 100,000. His impressive scoring record continued with 34 goals in 49 league appearances as of the end of the 2000/01 season

Celtic, Ipswich, Southampton, Monaco and Newcastle were all said to be watching this young talent although only ambitious Cardiff City had made a formal offer of 1.2million. Cardiff manager Alan Cork was told to up his bid to 2million. Birmingham City entered the race for Bobby's signature in February 2001 soon after he was approached to play for the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Then Wigan manager Bruce Rioch had a 1.5million bid rejected by Brighton. At the end of February 2001, Middlesboro became the latest side to be linked with the young South Coast hotshot whilst Bolton were linked in a 1.5million move in mid-March. His 28 goals by 28 April 2001 were instrumental in leading Brighton out of Division Three and into Division Two at the end of the 2000/01 season. In May 20091, Charlton, Southampton and Wimbledon were all linked with signing Zamora with Southampton the favourites if they appoint Brighton boss Micky Adams as their new supremo. In June 2001, both Portsmouth and Crystal Palace enquiried about signing Bobby but were told firmly by Brighton that they would only sell to a big club. Supposedly they don't want their current star to score against them in the league in the near future (we could see a Division One or Two clash between Brighton and Palace/Pompey). In July 2001, Cardiff allegedly offered the requested 2million. Towards the end of August 2001, Southampton were alleged to have returned with a 3million bid whilst The Sunday People claimed on 26th August that Kevin Keegan's Manchester City were preparing a 2million swoop. Whilst these were little more than tabloid speculation, it was confirmed that Southampton had made a 1.75million bid for Bobby at the end of August 2001. The Manchester City link resurfaced at the start of October 2001 - possibly as a kickstart to their stuttering season.

In October 2001, Brighton manager Micky Adams quit to become Assistant to Dave Bassett at struggling Premiership side Leicester. It was highly expected that Bassett and Adams' first move would be to sign Zamora, possibly to replace Ade Akinbiyi (if the Sunday Mirror of 14th October can be believed). The People reported on 9th December 2001 that Everton were preparing a £2million bid for Zamora whilst other reports linked him with Spurs. The following weekend saw West Ham linked with a £3million swoop. On 29th December, the media linked him with a £3.5million move to Middlesbrough that was rejected by Albion. Everton were the next side to be regularly linked with Zamora. In January 2002 it was speculated that Everton boss Walter Smith was preparing a £3million move but after watching Bobby's below-par performance for Brighton at Preston in the FA Cup, this was reduced to £1.5million plus add-ons. Brighton were said to be uninterested possibly because the media began linking West Ham with a £4million swoop. The next side to show an interest was Crystal Palace who were said to be deliberating between Bobby, Stern John (Forest) or Ade Akinbiyi (Leicester) before they swooped for the latter.

Bobby's goals led Brighton to the Division Two title and he was selected for the PFA Division Two representative side. Speculation linking Bobby with a move to White Hart Lane resurfaced at the beginning of August 2002 with Bobby said to be disillusioned with the lack of ambition shown by the Seagulls. In November 2002, transfer speculation resurfaced with Middlesborough, Southampton and Spurs all linked with a £3m move for the promising young striker. After a period of quiet, rumours began circulating in March 2003 that Spurs' major summer signing would be Zamora for £4million.At the end of March 2003, speculation was rife that Leicester would approach Brighton to sign Andy for £3million if Leicester were promoted to the Premiership. Just over a month later and the speculation switched back to Spurs with Tottenham alleged by the Evening Standard to be signing Zamora and West Brom's Jason Roberts to form a new striking partnership to replace Terry Sherringham and Sergei Rebrov.

The Spurs speculation finally became fact on July 18th 2003 when Bobby joined the White Hart Lane side for £1.5million. His first appearance in a Spurs shirt came two days later against Oxford in which he scored. He then scored again in the 3-0 defeat of Norwich on July 22nd.

Zamora found it hard to settle at Spurs and in January 2004, it was suggested that he might join West Ham United, possibly as part of a deal that would take Jermaine Defoe to White Hart Lane. This materialised on the last day that the transfer window was open (2nd February 2004) with Zamora rejoining his former club along with approximately £6million as Defoe joined Spurs. In November 2004, Bobby was linked with a loan move to Cardiff City who were said to be keen to take him to Ninian Park on a permanent basis. The following month saw speculation that Stoke City were lining up a bid for Bobby although this was denied by manager Tony Pulis. "We are being linked to a lot of people at the moment," said Pulis "We have tried for numerous players and we are disappointed we have missed them."

Norwich were reported to be preparing a £250,000 swoop for Zamora at the beginning of January 2005 but this was dismissed by Nigel Worthington leaving reading and Stoke to fight it out for Bobby's signature, if media speculation is to be believed. Zamora nearly signed for Palace at the end of the January 2005 Transfer Window but the move fell through. Zamora scored twice in May 2005 in the Championship Play-Off semifinal at Portman Road to put West Ham into the play-off final and Joe Royle's Ipswich facing another season in the Championship. He then scored the only goal of the play-off final against Preston to put West Ham back into the Premiership.

West Ham reached the 2005/6 FA Cup final against Liverpool. Dean Ashton started instead of Zamora, who replaced him as substitute during the second half. The game finished 3-3 and went to penalties. Bobby took West Ham's first but it was saved by Jose Reina. The game ended with Liverpool winning the cup 3-1 on penalties.

On 30th December 2006, the Sun suggested that Reading manager Steve Coppell is interested in Hibernian midfielders Kevin Thomas and Scott Brown, while West Ham striker Bobby Zamora is also on his shopping list. During the January 2007 transfer window, it was claimed that Celtic manager Gordon Strachan would pay £3m for Zamora, that Alan Pardew would be runited with Zamora as he signs him for Charlton for £2m whilst Reading were also linked with a £2m swoop. In the end, he stayed at Upton Park. Speculation continued into the 2007 close season with the News of the World claiming on 17th June 2007 that Everton have joined Fulham, Blackburn and Middlesbrough in the battle for West Ham striker Bobby Zamora.

On 25th October 2007, the Daily Mirror reported that Fulham are prepared to splash out £4m to capture West Ham striker Bobby Zamora. In eary July 2008, West Ham granted Fulham permission to speak with Zamora and defender John Paintsil. Zamora was restricted to 14 games in 2007/8, scoring one goal, while Paintsil has started just seven league games since joining the club in 2006. "We recognise they had limited first-team opportunities last season," said West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury. "They want regular football and we have given them permission to speak to Fulham with a view to a move."

The joint move of Zamora and Pantsil to Fulham took place on 15th July fr a combined fee of £6.3million. Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said ""Bobby is a talented striker who not only has a desire to score goals but always looks to involve the rest of the team with his intelligent play." The signing of Pantsil enabled Fulham to loan out promising youngster Elliot Omozusi to Norwich

Zamora was called into England's squad for the 11th August 2010 friendly against Hungary, and made his debut as a second half substitute.

With rumours rife in the winter of 2011/12 that he had a falling out with Fulham manager Martin Jol, Bobby was linked with a January 2012 switch to QPR. This materialised on Transfer Deadline Day (31st January 2012) with Zamora signing for QPR at a cost of £4m

Zamora scored the vital goal in the Championship play-off final against Derby on 24th May 2014 which saw QPR return to the Premiership. This was his 59th game for QPR and his 11th goal.

Zamora was released by QPR at the end of the 2014/15 season following their relegation to the Championship. It was reported by the Sun on 15th June 2015 that Zamora was offered a contract by Indian Premier League side Pune FC. In the end he signed a one year contract with Brighton on 3rd August 2015.

Zamora was released by Brighton on 20th May 2016. He had scored seven goals in 26 games in his second spell at the clib.

In December 2016, Zamora announced his retirement from football.


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