Pacy full back Jon Otsemobor joined Hull City on loan in March 2003 and spent two months with the Tigers as Peter Taylor considered squad options ahead of launching a successful promotion challenge in the 2003/04 season. While it turned out that Otsemobor would not be a part of that squad, he did impress during his two months at Hull City with his willing running, defensive solidity and an eye for goal that yielded him three strikes – a towering header against Rushden & Diamonds on his debut, a bursting run and close range shot against Shrewsbury Town and a nifty shot from a crossbar rebound against Wrexham. He returned to Liverpool at the end of the 2002/03 season.
Jon Otsemobor was born and raised in the Speke area of Liverpool and came through the Reds’ youth academy in the late 1990s, signing his first professional contract in March 2000. It took two and a half years for Otsemobor to rise from promising reserve team player to his first team debut, which came in a November 2002 League Cup tie against Southampton. This game was Jon’s only first team experience prior to his loan spell at Hull City.
The 2003/04 season proved eventful for Otsemobor. He began the season on the fringes of the Liverpool first team before coming to national attention in October 2003 when he was embroiled in a gunfight in a Liverpool bar and took a bullet to the backside. Following a full recovery he started for Liverpool in a December 2003 League Cup tie against Bolton and followed this up with four Premier League starts over the festive period. In February 2004 Jon made a loan move to Premer League rivals Bolton Wanderers but he returned injured after only one start for the Trotters. Jon spent the first half of the 2004/05 season at Championship side Crewe Alexandra before returning to Liverpool. He had previously refused an extended contract at Anfield so left the Reds in the 2005 close season.
His subsequent nine year career then featured what appeared to be long periods of unfulfilled promise. He joined League One side Rotherham United in July 2005 but he strugged for first team game time and after 14 first team appearances and 1 goal he signed for Crewe Alexandra in January 2006. For a year Jon was a first team regular for the Railwaymen until injury ended his 2006/07 season at the end of February. Nevertheless his 50 appearances for Crewe, added to the 15 he previously made on loan at Gresty Road, encouraged Championship side Norwich City to offer Otsemobor a three year contract in July 2007.
Otsemobor missed only three League games in his first season at Carrow Road and remained a first team regular in the 2008/09 season as the Canaries slipped to relegation to League One. Norwich began the 2009/10 season in League One with a withering 1-7 defeat to Anglian rivals Colchester United and Otsemobor took some of the blame for that display, however he remained a first team choice as Norwich compiled a series of wins that took them to the upper reaches of the table by Christmas 2009. With Otsemobor’s contract coming to an end, Norwich accepted a transfer request in January 2010 and after 104 senior appearances for the Canaries he joined League One rivals Southampton for the remainder of the season. He made 19 appearances for the Saints as they narrowed missed out on qualifying for the end of season play-offs and in the summer of 2010 Jon again was on the move, this time to League One side Sheffield Wednesday. He missed a large chunk of the 2010/11 seson due to injury, a problem that dogged the last three years of his playing career, and as the Owls powered to promotion from League One in 2011/12 Jon was used in an occasional supporting role at both right back and right midfield. He had made 37 senior appearances for Wednesday in two seasons when he left the club in the summer of 2012.
Otsemobor spent the last two seasons of his career on the books of Milton Keynes Dons, joining in July 2012. A first team regular in 2012/13 season, he scored an infamous winning goal against rivals AFC Wimbledon in an FA Cup tie that was dubbed by Dons’ fans as the Heel of God goal. However Otsemobor struggled with injuries throughout the 2013/14 season, a short spell at Tranmere Rovers in November 2013 failing to assist in regaining fitness, and he agreed to terminate his contract in January 2014. The toll of past knee injuries was significant and after unsuccessful trials with San Jose Earthquakes and Doncaster Rovers Jon retired from playing in the summer of 2014 having made 310 senior appearances and scored 9 goals in a 12 year senior career.
Following his retirement Otsemobor worked in the property management and personal training industries while coaching his son’s youth team, a move that led him to take his fooball coaching badges.
Date/Place of Birth: 23 March 1983, Liverpool
Hull City First Game: 15 March 2003, Rushden & Diamonds A (League Division 3), 19 years, 357 days old
Hull City Final Game: 3 May 2003, Swansea City A (League Division 3), 20 years, 41 days old
Liverpool (2000-2005), Hull City (2003, loan), Bolton Wanderers (2004, loan), Crewe Alexandra (2004, loan), Rotherham United (2005-2006), Crewe Alexandra (2006-2007), Norwich City (2007-2010), Southampton (2010), Sheffield Wednesday (2010-2012), Milton Keynes Dons (2012-2014), Tranmere Rovers (2013, loan)
Hull City Record
Career: 9 apps, 3 goalsJon Otsemobor