Former Blackpool, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic winger forced to flee war-torn Ukraine

Former Blackpool winger Viv Solomon-Otabor has been forced to flee war-torn Ukraine.

By Matt Scrafton
Monday, 28th February 2022, 8:14 am
Updated Monday, 28th February 2022, 8:16 am

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The 26-year-old has successfully evacuated from the country, which has been under siege from Russian troops since last week.

Solomon-Otabor, who spent the 2017/18 season on loan with the Seasiders, only arrived in Ukraine last month.

He signed for Ukrainian top-flight side FC Rukh Lviv after his short-term spell at Scottish Premiership outfit St Johnstone ended in January.

The Nigerian had yet to feature for his latest new club, which is based close to the Polish border and 550km west of the capital city Kyiv, because of the league’s winter break.

It’s unclear whether the forward ever will given the circumstances.

But now well away from danger, the former Blackpool player can’t help but feel for those yet to reach safety.

Solomon-Otabor spent the season on loan at Bloomfield Road in 2017/18

Speaking about his experience on Sky Sports, Solomon-Otabor said: ‘There was just a lot of cars, a lot of people, a lot of lorries.

‘They were obviously trying to get back. Some got told to turn around which was not nice to see.

‘There was a lot of cars. Everybody was just calm but you could see the fear in their faces.

‘You could see that fear as they were trying to get out.’

Solomon-Otabor scored five times in 47 appearances for Blackpool during the club’s first season back in League One.

The winger went on to feature for Portsmouth before a spell in Bulgaria with CSKA Sofia.

His time in Bulgaria lasted only one season, though, with the wide man agreeing a one-year deal to sign for Wigan in September 2020.

That spell saw him play 31 times and score twice – prompting the Latics to offer him a new deal last summer.

Yet Solomon-Otabor failed to agree terms on a new contract, leaving him without a club until St Johnstone came in for him last November.

He played seven times for the McDiarmid Park side before agreeing to join FC Rukh Lviv in January.

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