Everton winger Yannick Bolasie: fueled by hamburgers. Well, maybe not anymore, but the 27-year-old did get his start in England receiving only burgers for compensation.
The story emerged as his former club, Hillingdon Borough, appeared to be folding and set to withdraw from the Spartan South Midlands League. Bolasie, who is currently on the mend from a knee injury, caught wind of the news and offered to help.
Hillingdon chairwoman Dee Dhand told Mirror Sport about Bolasie’s recruitment, revealing she “wanted to sign him for £20-a-week, but others didn’t agree.” Unable to scrounge up the cash to pay Bolasie, Dhand had a different offer in mind.
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“I ended up giving him a burger for every goal. He once scored eight, so he shared them with his teammates.”
“It’s true they used to pay me in burgers. There were plenty of stories like that back in the day,” Bolasie said. And just as he shared burgers with his teammates, Bolasie lent a hand to the club where he got his senior start. He reached out and offered support and Hillingdon later confirmed their match this weekend was back on.
Non-League football is a delightful, albeit utterly unpredictable, arena in England’s soccer pyramid. The further removed from the structure and stability of the country’s top tiers you get, the more amazing the anecdotes seem to become. It can be a wonderful and crazy circus where you never know what to expect. (Take Tamworth FC’s mascot, for example).
Bolasie’s burger salary is just another gem to remember, as is his offer to help the club.