From White Hart Lane to Club Deportivo Quevedo: The Incredible Globe-trotting Career of Rohan Ricketts

14 clubs, 3 continents, 8 countries, several thousand air miles and at only 30 years old, there’s far more to come. On the 26th January, Rohan Ricketts made his 14th career debut for Club Deportivo Quevedo of Ecuador’s Serie A. Of course, why wouldn’t you look to Ecuador for a place in the starting eleven after failed stints in Moldova and India? At an age where journalists often bemoan the lack of international adventure and experience amongst home-grown English talent, Rohan Ricketts has certainly bucked the trend.

For those football fans who remember the name, Rohan Ricketts will always be associated with White Hart Lane and perhaps can even be recalled as “the next big thing” at Tottenham Hotspur. Yet Ricketts’ professional football career began on the other side of the North London divide. A product of Arsenal’s youth academy, Ricketts only made 1 substitute appearance for the Gunners before making the move to Spurs in 2002. Here the young midfielder scored 1 goal in 30 appearances across 3 years, before being farmed out on loan to Coventry and then Wolves, with whom he joined permanently in 2005.

Ricketts’ spell with Wolves could be deemed as successful, as he made 44 appearances during his 2 years at the Molineux. However, after falling out of favour, Ricketts once again went out on loan, this time to QPR, before trying his hand in England again with Barnsley.

It wasn’t until 2008 that Ricketts opted to move abroad for his football, joining Canada’s sole representatives in Major League Soccer, Toronto FC. Ricketts made 39 appearances in the MLS before falling down the pecking order at the club, who released him a year after his signing.

Despite reputed interest from several clubs on home soil, Ricketts chose to re-locate to Eastern Europe by signing for Diosgyori VTK in the Hungarian National League. An unsuccessful period in Hungary then led him further south to Macedonia with Dacia Chisinau where Ricketts was also unable to make an impression. A final crack at mainland Europe saw Ricketts join SV Wilhelmshaven of the Regionalliga Nord League in Germany where he made 12 appearances, but failed to settle permanently.

Afterwards, Ricketts chose to move a little closer to home by joining Irish champions Shamrock Rovers. As fate would have it, Ricketts faced old club Tottenham Hotspur during his time with Shamrock as the two clubs were drawn together in the Europa League. Ricketts then returned to play football in England for Exeter City, but only appeared for 1 game.

Ricketts next transfer was perhaps his most adventurous to date as he joined Champions of India Dempo where he made 10 appearances before being suspended by the club for an outburst on twitter.

Rohan Ricketts moved to Ecuador last month and it remains to be seen how long he will last on his third continent. His move to Deportivo Quevedo makes him England’s second current export on the South American footballing landscape, joining goalkeeper Mark Cook of Peru’s Universitario. At least someone else shares Ricketts’ sense of adventure.