On the pitch he had a presence, on the internet he’s now an influence. From hitting the bottom with football he’s recently been rubbing shoulders with Neymar.
From the imposing midfielder at the centre of Gary Holt’s midfield in 2013-14 the former Spurs and Norwich man fell out of favour with Peter Houston and off the football map. Those in the know followed his progress via social media – though there wasn’t much by way of updates in the game for a while – but the followers have grown and grown as Olu built himself up, on and off the pitch.
Durojaiye is regarded as a Youtube Influencer. His creative work with video production, editing and hosting now focus away from football – but things are looking up for him there too.
He explained: “I’d always been a bit of a joker coming through at Tottenham and Norwich, but you need to change in the man’s game. I’ve got that balance now I think with serious work and fun. But video is always something I’ve been interested in but I never realised what it could become.
“I was always playing with videos and things on Snapchat – even at Falkirk. But in a first team dressing room I had to knuckle down and be a bit more serious when it came to things with the first team.
“When Gary Holt brought me in I thought this was my chance – I had had options to stay in England but I went for it at Falkirk.
“I thought the second season would be my big one after making the move and getting used to the league and the systems in the first but it didn’t turn out like that. I had a lot of lonely days. When I left Falkirk I wasn’t in a good headspace and really just started again to get my confidence back, I hadn’t enjoyed it under Peter Houston.”
When he moved on he hit the football basement, and signed up with friends for a kickabout tournament in London. That kick-started his video work in a more serious way.
“I played in The Last Stand football tournament – probably the biggest underground street football tournament in London – winner stays on. I was involved in a promotional video for it on the website SportBible.
“When we turned up quite a few of the teams were well kitted out and looked the part. So next time I used my contacts and asked someone I knew at Puma for some kit – but they asked what’s in it for them. I’d built up a good relationship and offered a promotional video in return and they agreed.
“I enrolled the help of a cameraman I knew and they loved what we did and then asked for more from us with more products and it took off from there. I became part of a Youtube influencer group.
“Now I’ve done work with adidas for the World Cup, worked with LadBible and SportsBible, RedBull and PUMA. It has brought a lot of opportunities to me.
“I’ve been event hosting recently I did a Nike torunament with ‘basement’ - a fashion label from Soho and some other big London brands. Before the World Cup I did a video interview with Jesse Lingaard then the most recent was with Neymar in Brazil – that was unbelievable. I was hosting for SportBible at the Neymar Junior Fives in Brazil.”
When not on the phone, in the editing suite or behind the camera he’s been building himself up on the pitch too, re-discovering the confidence in the game. He’s most recently signed with Braintree Town in the Conference Premier – one step off League football in England.
“I have built things back up to a decent level and I’m excited about the new season,” the 25-year-old added. “I looked at where I’d gone wrong and got back to just enjoying it.
“To be fair if I had the opportunity to come back up to Falkirk I would – it’s a special place for me, although there has been a big change at the club – even Sibbs has left! But it is in my heart and I feel it’s not finished there yet. Everything I’m doing with the football is gearing up to come back to that level and play as high as I can.”
He might not be playing at the top but he is brushing with the elite working with Lingaard, Hector Bellerin and even Neymar recently.
“Brazil was an amazing experience. If I didn’t have my personality I’d have struggled. There were 64 teams in Neymar’s tournament and my job was to just go around and speak to them all.
“I’ve been there, I’ve played football so I know how to speak football and it’s easy to communicate. I did it for Sportbible and it was great. Football breaks down barriers. Neymar too was brilliant. He is nothing like he has been portrayed. He’s not stuck up. We had a five minute slot that turned into 20 minutes – and he wanted to stay and talk more football too. He’s not a money-hungry guy like has been made out.
“I’m actually editing a documentary at the moment from my time in Brazil which should, I think, show Neymar in a much better light. I’ll maybe stick it on my Youtube channel, or Sportbible. But I’ve hustled myself to get here.
“With what I do and how I do it I have to keep creating content that’s what keeps me going and keeps my work going.
“I’ve got two little boys now, and I’m painting and decorating too, so with that, building a brand, football, being a Youtube influencer and the hosting and videos, it’s a busy time... but I have bills to pay!
“Next season I’m on BT Sport with Braintree and that’s another door open for me, you never know. maybe Paul Hartley will see me!”