Former Super Falcons’ Goalkeeper, Rachel Ayegba Turns Bus In London (Photos)


The former goalkeeper of the Nigerian national football team, Rachael Aladi Ayegba is now a double-decker bus driver in London.


According to Standard UK newspaper, Ayegba is helping the UK with its crisis of driver shortage during the pandemic and has signed up to be a driver of the buses.



Ayegba played in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, the 2006 and 2008 African Women’s Championships and had an 11-year stint as a professional footballer in Finland, winning the league title in 2013 with PK-35 Vantaa.


Now she drives the number 185 between Lewisham and Victoria according to the report by the UK paper. She is in the middle of a year’s training. 

 

Former Super Falcons? goalkeeper, Rachel Ayegba, now drives the 185 double decker bus in London (photos)

 

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 works for Go-Ahead, the bus and train giant that operates about a fifth of the capital’s buses on behalf of TfL.


She reckons driving a bus and playing in goal have a lot in common, which is about safety first and about not making a mistake.

 

“When you are trying to save the ball, you need safe hands. But there are ten others on your side,” she was quoted on Standard UK.

 

“When you drive a bus, you are on your own.”

 

“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,” she added.

 

On the issue of bus drivers not getting enough respect, she said;

“They don’t. I think we just see a bus driver as a nobody. I see them more like a pilot, if anything goes wrong, it’s on them. Now I’ve done the training, the people I respect most, after my family, are the drivers.”


According to the publication bus driver's pay starts at £26,000 and rises to more than £31,000 a year, a distant cry from what she earned while playing for Nigeria’s Super Falcons in the World Cup.


Ayegba, whose favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo, doesn’t play football anymore, though she has a coaching license. “I am old. You have to know when to stop,” she says.

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