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HISTORY OF T&MUFC 
CLUB LEGENDS

Michail Antonio

Michail played for Tooting & Mitcham United Junior sides, then the Reserves from 2002-2008, starting at the age of 12, before making his first team debut for the Terrors in an away Isthmian League match at Wealdstone on the 23rd September 2008 aged 18. That match was won 3-0 with Michail scoring one of our goals. Next up four days later, was a trip to the Kent coast to face Ramsgate in another league encounter, which was won 4-1 with Michail again on the scoresheet.

On October 4th he would make his home league debut against old rivals Hendon at Imperial Fields and again Tooting would take full points, as Michail netted the only goal of the game with a fine solo effort. Seven days later he scored for the fourth league game in a row as Hastings United were swept aside 3-0 on their own patch.

At the end of October Michail would sign for the then Championship side Reading. He would be loaned back to Tooting & Mitcham United in January 2009 for a month, which was extended into February before being recalled by Reading. In his brief return he would bag the only goal of the game at local rivals Carshalton Athletic in the league, cutting in from the wing and scoring with a fierce shot. Then there was the return home fixture with Wealdstone which was lost 2-3, Michail with one of our consolation goals. There then followed a London Senior Cup tie away to Redbridge which was won 6-0, Michail weighing in with a hat-trick. His last goal for Tooting & Mitcham United came in the return league match away to Hendon on the 14th February 2009, which saw the points shared after a 2-2 draw. Michail had only been in the Tooting & Mitcham United first team for a short while but had certainly left his mark and would go on to much greater things. He made a total of 12 appearances for the first team, scoring 10 times, an excellent scoring ratio.

Whilst at Reading he would have loan spells at Cheltenham Town, Southampton, Colchester United and Sheffield Wednesday, before joining the Owls on a permanent basis in 2012. His next club was Nottingham Forest and then in 2015 he moved to West Ham United and has starred for them in the Premier League. In 2016 he was called up for the first time to the full England squad for a World Cup qualifier away to Slovakia, where he was an unused substitute. In 2017 he was again called up by England for a friendly match versus Germany and a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, however he withdrew due to picking up a hamstring injury. In 2021, he was approached by Jamaica to consider playing for them at International Level. He would eventually make his debut for Jamaica in 2022 and scored for them in his second international appearance. In his long career Michail has played in several positions including wing back, midfield, winger and striker. He is a very powerful player, has pace, is superb in the air, and not forgetting his long throw!

Over the years Michail has popped back to his beloved Tooting & Mitcham United to take training sessions with the club’s youth teams and undertake community work, with our youth programmes. It shows the kind of person he is, very caring and humble. His success story is a great one, where a local lad makes good and he is an inspiration to all the youngsters playing for the club today.

Article written by Ian Bullock TMUFC Members Club Vice President

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