Jermain Defoe began his junior career at Charlton Athletic F.C. and was enrolled into the FA National School of Excellence in 1997. From there, Defoe moved to West Ham United F.C. (West Ham) and turned professional at the age of 16. He won the Premier Academy League title in the 1999-00 season with West Ham; and went on to make his first team debut in September 2000.
He was loaned to second division club, A.F.C. Bournemouth for the 2000-01 season and made 29 appearances and scored 18 goals. He returned to West Ham the following season where he led the team in goals with 14. He remained with West Ham after the club was relegated following the 2002-03 season until transferring to Tottenham in February, 2004. He found immediate success at Tottenham scoring seven goals in 15 matches to close the 2003-04 campaign. Defoe added 13 goals the following season and was named the club’s “Player of the Year” for the 2004 calendar year.
Defoe remained with Tottenham until transferring to Portsmouth F.C. (Portsmouth) in January 2008. He stayed at Portsmouth until January 2009 before transferring back to Tottenham. Defoe had instant scoring success upon his return to Tottenham during the 2009-10 season, recording three hat-tricks, including a five goal game against Wigan Athletic in November. He finished the season with a combined 24 goals in his first full season back at White Hart Lane. Defoe continued his successful strike rate in his second spell with Tottenham, scoring 74 goals across all competitions. This season, Defoe took over as Tottenham’s fifth highest goal scorer of all-time from George Hunt. Defoe also became Tottenham’s all-time leader in European goals scored with 23, surpassing Martin Chivers.
He has earned 55 caps and scored 19 goals to date for the English National Team, with his first appearance March 4, 2004, when he appeared as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Sweden. Defoe’s first goal for England came during his first start September 8, 2004 in a FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Poland. Defoe was a member of England’s 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, and helped secure its progression from the group stage, scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Slovenia. Defoe was also part of England’s UEFA Euro 2012 squad. His most recent cap came on November 15, 2013 during a friendly match against Chile.