Calvin Bassey Biography – Childhood, Parents, Family [2024]

This article, a deep-dive Calvin Bassey Biography, provides an insightful overview of his early years and upbringing in a family led by parents – Ebere Bassey Etim (Calvin’s Mum), Kingsley Ikenna Ughelumba (Calvin’s Dad), his Nigerian state of origin, siblings, ethnic background, romantic life, financial status, and personal lifestyle.

Central to Bassey’s story is his journey from a challenging childhood after moving from Italy to Newham, London, with his family. In Newham, football offered a positive outlet amidst the hardships and potential pitfalls of his environment.

This account also traces Bassey’s early career struggles, including rejections from Leyton Orient and Crystal Palace. Showcasing his resilience and determination to succeed against the odds, he ultimately achieved success at the highest levels of European football.

This biography delves into Calvin Bassey’s life, exploring his early years, family roots, and personal journey. It sheds light on his parents’ upbringing and his life with his siblings. The narrative extends to his wider family circle, providing a comprehensive view of his family background.

Moreover, the article offers an in-depth look at Bassey’s heritage, cultural identity, and religious beliefs. It also touches upon his place of birth, educational background, any tattoos he might have, his financial status, astrological signs, and intimate aspects of his life, including relationships and earnings analysis.

At its core, this narrative portrays Calvin Bassey’s journey, overcoming family adversities. After moving from Italy with his mother and brothers to escape hardship, they made a new home in Newham’s challenging environment. Here, football became Bassey’s sanctuary, steering him away from the perils of delinquency.

This account also chronicles Bassey’s arduous journey in football, marked by early rejections from clubs like Leyton Orient and Crystal Palace. Despite the possibility of despair and surrender, Bassey persevered, ultimately achieving remarkable success in European football. This biography is a testament to his resilience and determination in the face of life’s hurdles.


Our biography of Calvin Bassey unfolds by first exploring key moments from his youth. Then, he dives into the formative stages of his career as a promising left-back. We conclude by chronicling his ascent to becoming a leading defender of Nigeria.

Calvin Bassey has made a name for himself not only as a distinguished Nigerian footballer but also as a public figure celebrated for his career milestones. Among his accolades is his triumph with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership during the 2020–21 season.

Our exploration into the lives of Nigerian football professionals has revealed a common oversight. The fascinating tale of Calvin Bassey remains largely unknown to many fans. So, let’s dive in and shed light on his captivating journey.

The Young Years of Calvin Bassey:

Kicking off this biography, it’s noteworthy that the athlete is officially known as Calvin Chinedu Bassey, although he was originally named Calvin Chinedu Ughelumba at birth. This emerging star was born into the world on December 31, 1999, in Aosta, Italy. The centre-back has the same birth year as Djordje Petrovic, Noa Lang and Jean-Clair Todibo. He was welcomed by his mother, Ebere Bassey Etim, and father, Kingsley Ikenna Ughelumba.

Calvin is one of four sons born to Kingsley and Ebere, marking a family deeply rooted in unity and love.

Focusing on a key figure in Calvin Bassey’s life, let’s spotlight his mother, Ebere Bassey. She is the pillar of strength who not only nurtured Calvin and his siblings with great care. But also played a pivotal role in guiding him towards his successful football career. Her dedication and sacrifices have been instrumental in shaping Calvin’s path.

Youthful Era:

Calvin Bassey, a Nigerian footballer with Italian heritage, was born in the city of Aosta, Italy. His life took an unexpected turn at the tender age of six when his father departed, leaving behind Calvin, his mother, and his three brothers: Elvis, Michael, and Matthew Ughelumba.

In the face of this upheaval, his mother took a bold step for the sake of her family’s future. She moved to the UK with her sons, aiming for a fresh start. They made their new home in Newham, a district in London known for its tough environment.

Bassey recalls Newham as being akin to a “War Zone,” a testament to the area’s harsh conditions. It’s worth noting that Newham is also the upbringing ground for fellow footballers Chuba Akpom and Ezri Konsa, who similarly navigated the challenges of growing up in a rugged neighbourhood.

The adversity and resilience encountered in Newham played a pivotal role in shaping Bassey’s early years. Navigating through such a demanding environment equipped him with the fortitude and resolve necessary to overcome obstacles. These formative experiences not only sculpted his character but also laid the groundwork for his eventual achievements in the competitive arena of professional football.

 Calvin Bassey’s Beginnings:

Calvin Bassey’s love for football sparked amidst the lively streets of Newham, where what began as a casual interest blossomed into a profound dedication. His initial foray into football took place at Colegrave Primary School, marking the beginning of a challenging yet rewarding journey.

Throughout his early years, Bassey faced numerous challenges that tested his determination and refined his abilities. He once reflected, “In my neighbourhood, you had two options: fall into gang life or pursue football.” At a critical juncture, he stood at a crossroads where a single misstep could have entangled him in legal troubles.

Yet, it was football that taught him the value of discipline. Understanding the necessity of rest and recuperation, he made it a point to return home early, always readying himself for the next match. A pivotal moment came at the age of 12 when he became part of the CM Football Academy, setting the stage for his future in the sport.

Calvin Bassey’s Ancestral Background:

Calvin Bassey’s journey began in the heart of East London, where familial ties were deeply cherished. This close-knit family environment played a crucial role in moulding his character and ambitions. Central to his life was his mother, who was not only his caregiver but also his greatest source of inspiration and encouragement.

From a young age, his mother recognized and nurtured his budding passion for football, laying the groundwork for his eventual path in sports. Her unwavering support was instrumental, particularly given the limited information available about his father’s profession.

Growing up in a middle-class household, Calvin was surrounded by a supportive and caring environment, essential for nurturing his aspirations. As the second of four sons, born in Italy, Calvin shared a strong bond with his siblings.

Due to certain family circumstances, Calvin and his brothers were raised by their mother. In a testament to her significant influence, the family chose to adopt her surname, Bassey, moving away from their father’s surname, Ughelumba. This decision underscores the profound impact their mother has had on their lives and careers.

Calvin Bassey Family Origin:

Calvin Bassey’s heritage spans both Italy and Nigeria, granting him dual citizenship. He was born in Italy, making him an Italian national from birth. Yet, his Nigerian heritage is a significant part of his identity, with both parents hailing from Nigeria.

This cultural fusion shapes Bassey into a player with a multifaceted background. His father’s lineage can be traced to the village of Umunnamehi in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, nestled in the southeastern part of Nigeria.

This connection to Anambra State enriches Bassey’s Nigerian roots, linking him to the traditions and history of the southeastern region. On his mother’s side, Calvin draws cultural influences from the Efik ethnic group, originating from Nigeria’s South-South region. The Efik culture, celebrated for its rich traditions and historical depth, adds another layer to Bassey’s diverse heritage. The combination of his Italian birthright and Nigerian ancestry plays a crucial role in shaping Calvin Bassey’s identity, both on the soccer field and in his personal life.

Calvin Bassey’s Cultural Identity:

Calvin Bassey, a prominent football player, has his ethnic origins deeply rooted in Nigeria, spanning the southeastern part of the country. His father originates from the village of Umunnamehi in Anambra State, while his mother, Ebere Bassey Etim, is part of the Efik ethnic group from Nigeria’s South-South region. Do you know?… his national team colleague, William Troost-Ekong hails from Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria.

This gives Bassey a rich cultural background that encompasses both the Igbo traditions of Anambra and the Efik customs of the South-South. Despite his birth in Italy, Bassey’s Nigerian heritage plays a significant part in shaping his personal and professional identity.

Calvin Bassey’s Academic Background:

Details about Calvin Bassey’s educational journey are less documented compared to the extensive coverage of his football career. It’s standard practice for aspiring footballers like Bassey to juggle their academic pursuits with rigorous sports training schedules.

Typically, these young athletes manage their schooling alongside their engagement in football academies or specialized training programs. Given Bassey’s relocation to London from Italy during his childhood, it’s plausible that he pursued his education within the UK.

This educational phase would have paralleled his growth in football, culminating in his inclusion in Leicester City’s youth setup. The specifics of the institutions he attended or the extent of his academic achievements remain under the radar, with the spotlight primarily cast on his achievements in football.

Building a Career:

At the age of 12, Calvin Bassey embarked on his football journey with CM Futsal Football Academy, coinciding with his eighth year in school. He remained with the academy for three pivotal years, during which CM Football Academy played a significant part in nurturing his talents and steering him towards future achievements in football.

Bassey, along with his family, holds the academy and its supporting team in high regard. Often expressing gratitude for the foundational support and guidance he received during these early stages of his career. This period of gratitude underscores the impact of the academy on his initial development in football.

During these formative years, Bassey’s routine was characterized by rigorous training and competitive matches, a regimen that helped shield him from the distractions of his surroundings. Notably, his elder brother played a crucial role in maintaining Calvin’s focus, providing the necessary support and encouragement to keep Calvin aligned with his aspirations in football.

The Life of Calvin Bassey in Football:

In 2015, Calvin Bassey faced a critical juncture in his football career, grappling with the possibility that his dream of playing in the Premier League might not materialize. Over three years, he experienced a series of rejections from various clubs, including Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leyton Orient, Charlton Athletic (on two occasions), and Barnet.

Despite these challenges, Bassey’s resolve did not waver. Yet, as he neared the end of his school years, the reality that his Premier League dream might be fading away began to set in.

A turning point emerged through an unexpected connection with Jermain Defoe, whose nephew played cage football with Calvin in Newham, east London. This rekindled Bassey’s determination, leading him to dedicate one final summer to achieving his goal. He resolved, “I’m going all out, and if I don’t secure a club, I’m quitting.”

At the age of 15, Bassey faced a make-or-break trial at Leicester City. He entered the trial aware that Leicester had already turned away numerous left-backs. This pressure, however, became the catalyst for his breakthrough, allowing him to play without constraints and eventually earn a spot at the club. Bassey’s achievement was a moment of immense pride, a tangible testament to his journey from facing rejection to achieving success.

Calvin Bassey’s Path to Stardom:

At the age of 15, Calvin Bassey’s football career took a significant crossover when he was signed by Leicester City following a successful trial that showcased his potential. Calvin himself remarked on the timeliness of this opportunity, stating, “Joining Leicester was a stroke of perfect timing.” This pivotal moment marked the beginning of his professional journey, heavily influenced by the resilience and tenacity he developed growing up in Newham.

Bassey’s exceptional talent and unwavering commitment quickly became evident as he rose through Leicester City’s youth system, playing for both their under-18 and under-23 teams. However, he never made a senior appearance for the club.

His career trajectory took another upward turn when Rangers acquired him on a free transfer in the summer. Over two seasons with Rangers, Bassey made 65 appearances, contributing significantly to the team’s Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup victories. He also played a vital role in Rangers’ journey to the 2022 UEFA Europa League Final, although they were ultimately defeated by Eintracht Frankfurt in a penalty shootout. His outstanding performances throughout the season earned him a place in the UEFA Europa League Team of the Season for 2021–22.

In July 2022, Bassey’s career reached another milestone when he transferred to Ajax, setting a record transfer fee for Rangers, the highest the club had ever received for a player. This move followed his significant contribution to Rangers, where he was one of Steven Gerrard’s notable signings alongside Ianis Hagi.

That same year, the man of the match‘s international career flourished as he was called to the Nigerian national team. This allowed him to demonstrate his skills on a global stage and add an international dimension to his already impressive career.

Calvin Bassey’s Climb to Stardom:

Calvin Bassey took a significant leap in his professional football career by transferring to Fulham, a club in the Premier League, on July 28, 2023. He committed to a four-year deal with the club, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in his career.

The move to Fulham represented a step up to a more competitive environment. This placed Bassey as a prominent figure in the Premier League landscape. Fulham demonstrated their belief in his capabilities by securing his transfer from Ajax for a substantial fee of €21 million, underscoring his value and potential contribution to the team.

Fulham’s investment in Bassey is a testament to their confidence in his abilities and their anticipation of his positive influence on the squad. Joining Fulham opened up exciting opportunities for Bassey, with the club, under the guidance of Manager Marco Silva, undergoing strategic changes to bolster their lineup.

These changes included the sale of Aleksandar Mitrovic, which facilitated the acquisition of talents like Belgium’s Timothy Castagne and Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi. In his new role at Fulham, Bassey finds himself among key players such as Issa Diop in central defence, Antonee Robinson at left-back, Joao Palhinha in defensive midfield, and Harry Wilson on the right wing, setting the stage for an engaging season ahead.

National Team Involvement:

Calvin Bassey, who was eligible to play internationally for Italy, Nigeria, or England due to his birth in Italy and diverse heritage, chose to represent Nigeria on the international stage. In 2021, he decided to join the Nigerian national team. And was called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Bassey made his debut for Nigeria in a match against Ghana on March 25, 2022, which ended in a 0-0 draw during the World Cup qualifiers. By January 2024, Bassey had achieved another milestone in his career by participating in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the Nigerian team, marking a significant moment in his journey with international football.

Bassey’s situation of being eligible for multiple national teams is not unique at Fulham. He is joined by fellow Nigerian players like Joe Aribo, Ademola Lookman, and Bright Osayi-Samuel, all of whom were raised in London and have similarly diverse backgrounds.

During the AFCON tournament, Bassey expressed admiration for Napoli’s striker Victor Osimhen. He considers the striker one of the tournament’s standout players, alongside notable figures like Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Sadio Mane of Senegal. Bassey acknowledged the advantage of having a player like Osimhen on his side rather than competing against him. This chapter in Bassey’s biography highlights his growing influence and achievements in international football.

Calvin Bassey’s Partner:

Calvin Bassey, the skilled defender, is not married and is dedicated to moving his football career. This focus on professional development is a common theme among young athletes, who often prioritize their sporting aspirations.

Although Bassey is single, he is in a relationship. He has chosen to keep his partner’s identity away from the public eye. This decision underscores his intention to keep his personal life distinct from his professional persona in football. Reflects a deep respect for maintaining privacy outside the limelight.

Calvin Bassey’s Off-Field Life:

On the field, Bassey is known for his intense commitment and enthusiasm for every match. Demonstrating his all-in approach to the sport. However, off the field, he skillfully maintains his privacy, clearly demarcating his public and private lives.

Away from football, Bassey enjoys leisure activities such as gaming and music, often bringing positive energy into his hobbies. Confidently, he declares, “I could easily be the DJ, and I’d feel confident about it,” revealing his passion for music and a different facet of his personality beyond the football pitch.

He explains, “My music choices vary with my mood. Sometimes, it’s the party mood with artists like Lil Baby, Gunna, and Young Thug. Other times, I switch to legends like Michael Jackson – he’s incredible! Then, there are moments for Ed Sheeran or Adele. Adele is phenomenal! On the drive-in, you don’t need upbeat tunes in the morning. That’s the time for some Adele and Ed Sheeran.” This range in music preference reveals another layer to Bassey’s personality, showcasing his diverse interests.

Calvin Bassey shares the Capricorn zodiac sign with fellow footballers like Matthias Ginter, Orkun Kokcu, and Simon Adingra. Capricorns are known for their strong sense of independence. This is a trait that Bassey exemplifies in both his personal life and professional career.

Despite a demanding football schedule, the ex-Rangers player prioritizes his fitness, contributing to his remarkable stamina on the field. His dedication to maintaining peak physical condition is evident in his athletic build and stamina during games.

Calvin Bassey’s Daily Life:

Bassey, originally from Italy, values privacy over public visibility, especially on social media platforms. He prefers to keep a low profile, steering clear of flaunting his achievements or material possessions, reflecting a deep-seated humility.

Even with significant success in his football career, Bassey lives modestly. Those close to him describe him as down-to-earth and highly focused. Qualities that distinguish him in the glamorous world of professional sports.

As a player for Fulham, known for his adaptability on the field, Bassey is equally discreet on social media. Choosing not to showcase a lavish lifestyle typical of some high-profile personalities. Such as luxury cars, extravagant homes, or expensive jewellery.

Calvin Bassey’s Family:

Like all sports figures, Bassey is backed by a supportive family. In the following sections, we will delve into some details about his parents and siblings. We will also highlight information about his extended family members.

Calvin Bassey Father:

Calvin Bassey’s father, Kingsley Ikenna Ughelumba, is originally from Anambra State in Nigeria but resides in Italy. His marriage to Ms Bassey ended in divorce, which led to a legal battle for custody of their children. Ms. Bassey won custody and subsequently changed the children’s last name from Ughelumba to her maiden name, Bassey. In a 2020 interview with Totori News, following Calvin’s signing with Rangers FC, Kingsley Ikenna Ughelumba shared his side of the story. He shed light on the difficulties he faced with Calvin’s mother, including being denied access to his son.

Despite his efforts to repair their relationship, Kingsley couldn’t reconcile with Ebere, who maintained custody of Calvin and his brothers. Kingsley mentioned that the discord began in 2008, and despite a judge’s advice to resolve matters amicably, cooperation was not forthcoming. Leading to his estrangement from his children. Calvin has stated that his father does not play an active role in his life.

Calvin Bassey’s Mom:

Calvin’s mother, Ebere Bassey Etim, belongs to the Efik ethnic group from Nigeria’s South-South region. Calvin credits his mother, affectionately referred to as Mercy, with instilling a strong work ethic in him. In 2020, after signing with Rangers, Calvin seized the opportunity to express his gratitude for her steadfast support.

At only 20 years old, shortly after joining Rangers, Calvin achieved a childhood dream by buying a new home for his family. This heartfelt gesture, fulfilled just five months after signing with Rangers, brought overwhelming joy and gratitude to his mother.

This deep bond with his mother influenced Calvin and his siblings to adopt her maiden name, Bassey, as their surname. Calvin recalls living with his father only at a very young age. He has been with his mother since he was six. He has always wanted to honour his mother by wearing her name on his jersey. A heartfelt tribute to her sacrifices and support.

Calvin Bassey’s Siblings:

In this segment of our sports biography, we delve into the familial connections of the athlete, specifically focusing on his siblings.

Calvin Bassey Brothers:

Calvin Bassey, notably, is not an only child but one of four brothers.  Elvis, Michael, and Matthew are rounding out the Bassey family.

Elvis Bassey, the eldest of the siblings, plays a pivotal role in Calvin’s life and upbringing. And is often cited by Calvin as a key figure during his formative years. Additionally, Calvin shares a distinctive relationship with another one of his brothers who has made a name for himself in the music industry. Matthew Bassey, known by his stage name Y.CB, is an English rapper. Associated with the UK drill group 7th, highlighting the array of talents present within the Bassey family.

Calvin Bassey’s Extended Family:

While Calvin Bassey is open about his immediate family, he maintains a protective stance regarding the privacy of his extended family members. Despite the importance of these relationships in his life, Calvin opts to keep details about his relatives private. It is known, however, that his familial roots trace back to Nigeria, a heritage that holds significant value to him.

Unknown Facts:

In this concluding section of Calvin Bassey’s biography, we’ll uncover more fascinating insights into his life and career. Let’s dive in.

Calvin Bassey Annual Earnings:

Calvin Bassey’s financial achievements in his football career are indeed noteworthy. Serving as a Centre-Back, he commands an impressive annual gross salary of £2,340,000, according to Capology. To gain a better understanding of his earnings, we’ll examine this figure within the broader landscape of the football industry.

What is the financial status of the defensive powerhouse:

The disparity between Calvin Bassey’s earnings and the average income in Nigeria is striking. On average, a Nigerian earns around 4,060,000 Naira per year, which is roughly equivalent to £3,548.54. To put this into perspective, it would take an average Nigerian about 12 years to accumulate what Calvin Bassey earns in a single week.

Calvin Bassey FIFA:

In the 2023 Sofifa rankings, Calvin Bassey stands out with an impressive Overall Rating of 74. Alongside a promising potential of 82. As a Centre-Back, his proficiency with left-footed strikes is notable. Emphasizing his critical role on the team. His abilities in areas such as jumping, stamina, strength, and speed are particularly commendable. Setting him apart as a key player.

Like all athletes striving for excellence, Bassey acknowledges areas for growth in his game. Observers frequently liken Bassey’s playing style to that of Tyrick Mitchell, highlighting shared characteristics in their approach to the game.

Furthermore, comparisons with Josko Gvardiol emphasize Bassey’s versatility and proficiency on the field. He is even as solid as Jan Paul Van Hecke in the central defence area of the pitch. In summary, Calvin is a player with a diverse skill set and adaptability.

Calvin Bassey Faith:

Calvin Bassey is open about his religious beliefs and practices. He shares that regular church attendance is a norm for his family, reflecting the importance of faith in their lives. Notably, his faith in God saw significant growth when he was around 16 years old. A period he identifies as crucial in his spiritual journey. This phase in his life underscored the profound impact of religion on both his personal development and family life.

To Wrap Up:

Calvin Chinedu Bassey, an accomplished footballer, was born to Nigerian parents on December 31, 1999, in Aosta, Italy. Following his father’s departure, Calvin and his three brothers relocated to London with their mother. This marked a significant turn in Calvin’s life, enveloped by his family’s support.

Bassey’s heritage grants him the unique distinction of holding Italian, Nigerian, and English nationalities, reflecting his rich cultural background. From a young age, Calvin was committed to his development. Adeptly juggling his studies and burgeoning football career, laying the foundation for his future.

His professional journey in football commenced at 15 when he joined Leicester City’s youth program. His prowess and adaptability on the pitch soon led him to sign with Rangers in 2020. This move marked a pivotal moment in his career.

Following an impressive inaugural season with Rangers, culminating in a Scottish Premiership title, Bassey made a landmark move to Ajax in July 2022 for a record fee of around £20 million. His career trajectory continued upwards as he transitioned to Fulham in July 2023, secured through a €21 million transfer deal. Alongside his club achievements, Bassey’s international career flourished as he elected to represent Nigeria. This added an international dimension to his professional accomplishments.

A Note of Gratitude:

Thank you for engaging with Soccer Biography’s detailed account of Calvin Bassey’s journey. We value your interest in his compelling story. At Soccer Biography, we are committed to delivering accurate and fair narratives, with a special focus on African Football Stories.

Calvin Bassey’s biography is part of our endeavour to highlight Nigerian football tales. Should you find any discrepancies or have any concerns about the content, kindly share your feedback with us.

We welcome your thoughts and comments, as they help us refine our articles and ensure the highest quality. Beyond Calvin Bassey’s narrative, our collection features a plethora of engaging Childhood Stories of other footballers.

We invite you to explore the life stories of other remarkable super eagles players, such as Victor Boniface and William Troost-Ekong. Dive into these narratives to uncover the inspiring paths these athletes have taken in their careers.

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