Dominic Iorfa

Biography

© Peterborough United
Name Dominic Mhenga-Iorfa Mtem.
Born 1st October 1968 in Gboko, Benue State, Nigeria.
Nationality Nigeria.
International caps 21 Nigeria caps.
Relationship Father of Dominic Iorfa.
Posh debut Peterborough Utd 2 - 3 Luton Town 24/10/1992, First Division.
First Posh goal Peterborough Utd 5 - 2 Sunderland 07/11/1992, First Division.
Links Dominic Iorfa's career at Soccerbase
Dominic Iorfa's page at Wikipedia

Before getting his big break, striker Dominic Iorfa had not been playing for that long. On the athletics team at his college in Nigeria, he started to play football with friends. He made quite an impact and signed up for a local side, becoming top scorer for two seasons running. Iorfa decided to try his luck at the professional game, appearing for league sides BCC Lions, Abiola Babes and Ranchers Bees. He was called up to the Nigeria squad which lost all three of their games in the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea: he played against Brazil and Australia, but was left on the bench against Yugoslavia. The following summer he moved to Belgium to join Royal Antwerp.

Despite not having made a competitive appearance, Q.P.R. manager Trevor Francis paid £145,000 for his services a few months later. Despite Iorfa only making 2 starts in two and a half years, Turkish giants Galatasaray showed interest in the Nigerian international. A fee of £100,000, eleven appearances and one goal later, he was dubbed one of the most ‘disappointing foreign imports in Turkish football.’

After a trial at Terry Cooper’s Birmingham City, Posh, recently promoted to Division 1 following their play-off victory over Stockport, signed Iorfa in October 1992. He impressed with his explosive pace when he made his début as a substitute at Luton, but only managed to start in 4 of his 28 appearances that season. After the summer break Dominic became a regular in the starting line-up, featuring heavily towards both the beginning and the end of the campaign.

His form was nothing short of erratic: Posh surely would have won on the opening day at Leicester were it not for his woeful finishing, while in the next game at home to Barnsley he hit the back of the net twice. Dominic will always be remembered for a superb goal in a relegation battle against Oxford, a stunning 30-yard winner gave the travelling Posh fans hope for the club’s survival. However, following relegation, 39 appearances and 8 goals that season, Peter Taylor took Iorfa to Southend Utd for a fee of £15,000.

In January 1995 he played his final game for the Nigeria, losing 5-4 on penalties to Mexico in the Intercontinental Cup Third Place match in Riyadh. He also failed to hold down a first team place at Southend – at one point an attendant at the ground said that he was an “imposter and they’d actually signed his brother Daniel Iorfa instead”. Scotland was to be his next port-of-call, as he signed for Falkirk during 1995/96. He again failed to make an impression and was remembered by some only for an incident during a reserve team match: “He had been hit in the face with the ball and asked for some water. Somebody threw a water bottle on the pitch and he squirted it in his eye and face, but then spent the next 10 minutes screaming because it was, in fact, orange juice in the bottle.”

From there he left Europe for Hong Kong and China, spending two successful seasons with Instant-Dict, Guangzhou Apollo and Hong Kong Rangers. In February 1997 he even turned out for the Hong Kong national team in their 1997 Carlsberg Cup Third Place match against Yugoslavia.

He returned to Southend on a trial-basis before the start of the 1998/99 season, but left shortly after to try his luck at Cork City. He was given his chance in a 2-0 League Cup victory against Cobh Ramblers, but the team decided against signing the Nigerian on a full-time basis.

Iorfa subsequently had a brief flirtation with a host of English non-league clubs, appearing for St Albans City, Conference-side Dover Ath., Purfleet, Aylesbury and Billericay Town. Coming on as a substitute for Aylesbury against St Albans City, Iorfa was sent-off before actually stepping out onto the field of play – it was reported that the linesman asked for his name four times, as he couldn’t spell it, but Iorfa took offence, swore and was promptly shown a red-card. He didn’t played for Aylesbury again.

He made another brief return to Southend in January 1999, stating that “My heart has always been with the club, even when I was thousands of miles away.” He appeared twice as a substitute but failed to earn a long-term deal, and crossed the Irish Sea again to sign for Waterford Utd. Following a relatively successful spell, during which he earned the nick-name of ‘super-sub’ once more, he made a second brief spell at Hong Kong Rangers before returning to his home country of Nigeria.

He soon became chairman of top division side Lobi Stars, but appeared not to be afraid of causing controversy in domestic Nigerian football, being branded a ‘hooligan’ by a fellow chairman. In 2003, his side sacked its entire team for going on strike after not being paid for 4 months, but their new squad went on to win that season’s FA Cup, defeating Port Harcourt side Sharks 2-0. Two years later they reached the final again, only to lose on penalties to league champions Enyimba.

In 2006 Iorfa began to represent the north-central zone on the NFA board, only for the controversies to continue. Berti Vogts was appointed as the national team manager in January 2007 and Iorfa described him as being an “apostle of change”, but only a few months later announced that he would “celebrate with bottles of beer if he [Vogts] makes good his alleged threat of resignation”, then verbally assaulted Vogts on the training pitch. The former Scotland boss stayed in his post, however, and Iorfa found himself at loggerheads with the state’s sports commissioner over financial issues with Lobi Stars, although eight key players threatened to resign if he was forced out.