Footballing legend Kaka’s surprise visit to Haggerston Academy


When footballing legend Kaka heard that London-based 7-a-side group, Hackney Wick FC, needed an extra player, he turned up to SLS partner school, Haggerston Academy, to lend a helping hand… or foot.

Kaka, who is a former Brazil and Real Madrid footballer and winner of The Ballon d’Or, thought he’d go easy on the school’s pitch, that was until he was ‘nutmegged’ by local warehouse worker Jamil Farid, who had just finished his night shift.

Speaking to a journalist from The Independent, Farid said: “No one knew [Kaka] was going to be there. The ref was just going through the rules to the tournament and my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘look who’s coming through the gates’.

“At first he was just keeping it simple, but everything looked so easy to him. I don’t know what was going through my mind when I ‘megged him. It was crazy. He came back to me after and we had a little moment and he gave me a hug.”

Despite the ‘megging, and in true professional style, Kaka scored twice and bagged a further two assists.

When one of Haggerston School’s SLAs, Amir Bouchakour, arrived at work on Sunday, he had no idea one of his footballing heroes would also be turning up that day. Luckily, he managed to snap a quick selfie in between games.

The game soon went viral on social media and national news channels, and even got Piers Morgan chipping in a comment on Twitter.

But this wasn’t the first time that an SLS partner school has welcomed a footballing icon through its gates. In May last year, David Beckham turned up for a kick about much to the surprise of our sport and leisure manager, Jamie Nelson.

It’s fantastic to see professional sports players making time to visit local communities and engaging with grassroots football in such a fun and energetic way. We can’t wait to see who’s next through the gates!