Jay Bothroyd big in Japan – Wolves' Where Are They Now?
Jay Bothroyd was somewhat of an enigma during his time at Wolves.
The scorer of an absolutely stunning strike at Leeds and the winner against fierce rivals Albion at Molineux, the striker certainly had his moments at Molineux.
A consistent run in gold and black, though, did not come and Bothroyd, who has since been critical of then-Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, left the club in 2008.
Fast-forward to now, at 37, the 6ft 3in attacker is loving his football and still scoring goals – in Japan.
A fair few will remember his time at Cardiff after Wolves, forming a prolific partnership with Michael Chopra and even gaining an England cap.
But not as many will know he has been in Asia for the past six years.
In 2014, after his release from QPR, he joined Muangthong United in the Thai Premier League.
A few months later, he was snapped up by Jubilo Iwata in the Japanese second tier, and he has now been playing for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo in the top flight for the best part of three years.
“Life is very, very good here in Japan,” said Bothroyd, speaking exclusively to 888sport.
“The standard of football is good and the stadiums are amazing. The fans are very passionate. I’m really enjoying it and that’s why I’ve been here for four-and-a-half years now.”
Bothroyd, it must be said, is showing no signs of slowing down.
He scored 34 times in 54 games for Iwata.
And for Sapporo, he has netted 28 times in 61 matches.
He ended the 2019 season with nine goals in 15 starts, helping his current employers finish 10th in the J1 League – also home to ex-Barcelona magician Andres Iniesta, playing for Vissel Kobe.
As he gears up for the start of the new campaign which kicks off in a few weeks’ time, Bothroyd has no thoughts of retiring.
“I’m concentrating on playing and I haven’t really thought about retiring just yet,” he said. “I’m 37, but I’m still playing week in, week out and feel good in myself.”
Playing regularly at a 40,000-seater stadium, it is not difficult to see why Bothroyd has been enjoying his time in Japan.
He does, though, plan on coming back to England – although getting into coaching or managing in the Far East is an option.
“I have businesses off the pitch, but I haven’t really decided yet whether to go into coaching or management,” said Bothroyd.
“If I was to do that it would be over here in Japan and my best friend (ex-Wolves keeper) Graham Stack – the under-23 coach at Watford – is always telling me I’d be a good coach.
“But I’m not sure if I want to do that. I have dedicated my life from a young age to football and in management you might have to move your family around the country all the time.
“I just feel that right now I want to get back to London and take things from there.”
Ultimately, for the here and now, Bothroyd is focused on scoring goals and winning games for Sapporo, where he is also vice-captain.
They are aiming to dust themselves down and have a successful season after losing the J League Cup final to Kawasaki Frontale on penalties.
“I haven’t thought about (retiring) in detail because I feel so good in myself,” added Bothroyd.
“When my body starts to fail me I might begin to think what’s next.”
Bothroyd’s quality was shown in fits and starts at Molineux.
But over in Japan, he has been ever so consistent, and to still be playing and scoring regularly at 37 is no small feat.
He has had quite the post-Wolves adventure.
The full 888sport interview can be found here.