Date of Birth: 13 October 1986
Place of Birth: Birmingham, England
Gabriel Agbonlahor came through the youth ranks at Villa Park and has been at the club since 1994 where he was found playing for a local Sunday league side, Great Barr Falcons.
As an 18 year old the forward was sent out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and Watford to gain first team experience. He managed 10 appearances between the two clubs, but failed to score for both sides.
Gabby made his first team debut in 1996 when then manager David O’Leary had injury problems with all his first team strikers. Agbonlahor come off the bench after 63 minutes and made an instant impact by scoring, however Villa went on to lose 4-1 to Everton at Goodison Park.
It was the pre-season for the 2006-07 season when Agbonlahor really made a name for himself as he managed to score 4 goals in 5 games including two against local rivals Walsall in a 5-0 win. Then manager Martin O’Neill started Agbonlahor on the right wing and in the first game of the season Villa managed a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the first ever game at the Emirates Stadium. That season the local boy scored goals against all four of the so called ‘big four’ (Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool). That season he went on to score 10 goals in 42 games.
On 19th November 2008 Agbonlahor made his International debut when he was named in Fabio Capello’s starting line up to play against Germany. He made a very good show of himself and was also unlucky to have a goal disallowed. England captain at the time John Terry praised Agbonlahor’s performance and declared that the forward was a ‘nightmare to play against’.
Agbonlahor has gone on to become a fans favourite for his goals against Birmingham City in recent years, and although he has never been a prolific goalscorer he has a habit of popping up with important goals when they are most needed. Being a local boy and playing for his boyhood team as also helped his cause.
When Martin O’Neill left Villa, Agbonlahor seemed to struggle to find the form that gained him his international call-ups. Under Gerrard Houllier the striker only managed 3 goals in 26 appearances and 5 goals in 33 appearances under Alex McLeish the following season.
In the 2012-13 season Paul Lambert seemed to of got Agbonlahor back to his very best with some saying he deserves a recall to the England setup.
On 29 April 2013 Gabby scored his 61st Premiership goal in a 6-1 smashing of Sunderland to overtake Dwight Yorke and become Aston Villa’s all time Premiership top-goalscorer. He finished the season with 12 goals in all competitions.