Remember my Name by Erkut Sogut / #Extract #BlogTour @inkeditorial @sogut_dr

From the slums to the stands. They’ll always want a piece of you.

A desperate boy holds a dark secret.
His only option is to leave home and face the treacherous journey to Europe in the hope of a better life.
A young journalist is determined to bring down the system that creates such desperation.
Two lives intertwined, hunted for nothing more than wanting to create a better world.

Afam is a promising young footballer, but he’s not set for stardom. Working on the streets of AJ City in Lagos, Nigeria, he’s grafts hard so he can support his sister through school. When Sam, a Christian missionary, promises him the world — a trial at a top club – Afam leaps at the chance. But things soon turn sour, and it becomes clear that Sam has ulterior motives. When he confesses to his friend, Leye, about Sam’s unwanted advances, he finds a surprising comrade.

The boys hatch a plan for revenge, but things don’t go according to plan and soon they are on the run. Leye goes into hiding with some questionable friends of his cousin and Afam has nothing else to cling to but the shaky promises of human traffickers who assure him they can get him safely into Europe, where a trial at a Paris club awaits him.

At the same time, Annabel, a British investigative journalist has had a tip-off that in addition to facilitating the shady academies making false promises to young African boys in order to part them with their cash, someone at the top level of football, and maybe government, is clearing the path for ruthless human traffickers to bring these young men into Europe and make modern-day slaves out of them.

Very soon, Annabel finds herself too close to the truth, and some very powerful people want to silence her.




‘Pull up here,’ Isaac ordered Patou as they pulled onto the street Ousman had directed them to in his message. Rain lashed the windscreen. He checked the picture that had come through as well and craned his neck to look through the glass, scanning the pavement ahead for the journalist. There was no sign of her, but Isaac had a full view of the cafe she was meant to be in.

‘Leye, go check she’s still in there,’ Isaac commanded, ‘Here, take a look.’ Keeping his eyes glued to the street, he passed his phone back to Leye and heard the van door slide open and watched as he made his way down the street. Leye walked past the window, casting a furtive glance inside, then pulled up just beyond and checked the picture on the phone. After a few moments, he left his spot and moved back towards where they had parked, checking through the window again with the slightest movement of his head. He looked up at Isaac and gave a curt nod before settling into a doorway next to the cafe to take shelter from the storm.

No sooner had he settled down than the journalist appeared outside, digging an umbrella out of her bag.

‘Okay, that’s her. Let’s go,’ Isaac said, unclipping his seat belt and climbing into the back.

Patou pulled away from the kerb at speed and they were outside the cafe before they knew it.

‘Go,’ Patou said as he slammed on the brakes.

In one fluid motion, Isaac slid the door open and he and Snoop erupted out of the rear of the vehicle. With an agility that defied his gangly frame, Snoop got behind the woman and grabbed one of her arms and a handful of hair before pushing her towards the van. She struggled, bringing the umbrella down on his head, but Leye emerged from his hiding spot and took hold of her other arm. The rain was keeping people off of the streets. There was no one to stop them. Isaac reached into his jacket pocket for another hood and pulled it tight around the woman’s head, cinching it at the back.

The three men bundled the journalist inside the van, where she sprawled out on the floor next to Boy Wonder. Fitting, thought Isaac briefly, as he saw the two laid out before him. The door slammed shut behind him and the van lurched forward, throwing him off balance. He steadied himself and watched as the journalist groped around in the dark before pulling out his gun and delivering a stunning blow to the side of her head. He smiled to himself as she slumped down again, sinking into oblivion.

‘To the warehouses,’ he said. ‘It’s the weekend. No one will find her for days.’

Thank you


About the author

Dr Erkut Sogut is a player agent, lawyer and lecturer. He is the founder and director of Family and Football and his clients include Mesut Özil, Kieran Gibbs and Kerem Aktürkoğlu. He holds a doctorate in sports law, is the founder of the Football Agent Institute and wrote the definitive book on agenting: How to Become a Football Agent.

Erkut has always been passionate about sport and football and in 2022, married his love of the game with thriller writing, publishing his debut novel, Deadline, which used Erkut’s own experiences to explore the murky world of football agenting.

Remember My Name is his second thriller featuring investigative journalist Annabel Green. Erkut drew inspiration for this book from his own experiences meeting young players in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya and the research of academics into sports trafficking.

Sogut wants to help highlight an area of the sport that is unexpectedly rife with modern slavery. Aspiring players, often children from developing nations, are lured with the promise of professional contracts and the opportunity to develop their skills at clubs in Europe and the US. Deceived into thinking that a new, prosperous life beckons they find themselves losing their fundamental human rights as they are robbed, exploited and abused.

Until now, these crimes have received limited attention from fans, national governments and sporting organisations. This is in part due to a code of silence among the victims, meaning a lack of evidence on the nature and scale of the problem, although early reports suggest between 15-20 thousand young individuals are trafficked from West Africa alone into Europe to play football every year, with many more around the world. Erkut Sogut hopes to use his novel to highlight the issue to fans of the game and eventually bring the practice to an end.


Author Link

Twitter: @sogut_dr



Book Link