Former Bacup Borough and England schoolboy International Fábio Abreu has signed for Saudi Arabian club Al-Batin FC for a reported 2.5 million euros.
The 27 year old born in Lisbon of Angolan descent moved to England as a child, where he attended Loreto College in Hulme, Manchester.
It was during his time at the college that he signed for Brent Peters, Bacup Borough featuring on numerous occasions for the first team in the North West Counties League, and after impressing at the Brian Boys Stadium under the guidance of Peters, Fabio returned to Portugal and signed a three year contract with C.S. Maritimo in 2011.
Over the following season the striker would build in stature and reputation before moving to Ribeira Brava on loan for the remainder of that campaign. On his return to the club he would continue to further his development and progression as a quality striker, and in February 2015 he made his first Primeira Liga appearance coming on as a late substitute in a 1-1 away draw against Académica de Coimbra. After continuing to impress the C.S. Maritimo management team, Fabio renewed his contract with the club until June 2017.
In that same year, Abreu then moved again, this time signing a two-year deal with second tier Portuguese side F.C. Penafiel as a free agent, and with 12 goals in his first season, he ranked seventh in the leagues goal scorers, including a hat-trick in a 4–1 home victory over Sporting CP B
Abreu started to attract the attention of the top clubs in Portugal. And in 2019 he got his just rewards by returning to the top flight with Moreirense F.C. and between February and March of this year he netted in six consecutive games, ending with one in a 2-0 win over his former club C.S. Marítimo.
It was these goals that attracted José Garrido at Al-Batin FC. Garrido who made almost 200 senior appearances in the Portuguese league and with his contacts still active within the game, Abreu was certainly on his radar. And last month the former Borough player put pen to paper, joining the Saudi Professional League club for a reported 2.5 million euros.
Speaking to the Borough manager about the move, Peters said; 'I was made aware of the transfer to the Saudi club after the move was made public on social media. I've also received an email from a sports lawyer based in South Africa who wished to discuss the possibilities of supporting Bacup in a bid to access a solidarity payment in line with FIFA regulations.
‘I’ve been following Fábio’s progress ever since he left the club for Portugal in 2011. I always knew that the lad had talent, that’s exactly why we gave him his debut at such a young age, so it’s no surprise to me that he’s managed to secure such a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia. His attitude was top draw, he always turned up for training and always listened to instructions. It was obvious that he had the hunger and desire to take it further and we’re delighted that one of our former lads has achieved this.' When I asked about the possibilities of receiving a solidarity payment through FIFA he said. ‘At the moment it’s early days. I’m not holding my breath but if there’s a chance we could receive some sort of payment through FIFA then that would be fantastic news for the club especially during these challenging times. I have been in contact with the FA and they’re quite happy to help the club through the process. And I’ve also been in constant contact with the league secretary about accessing the registration forms. Unfortunately locating the paperwork has been difficult due to the fact that the league only started archiving the documents a few years ago. But if we can present that form of documentation to the FA they will deliver all the paperwork on our behalf to FIFA and the solidarity payment process can begin.'
'It was clear to see that the Borough manager was delighted for Fábio. It would be great to receive some kind of appreciation for the work we did with the lad during his time with us, but I am thrilled that he has gone on to achieve what he as worked hard for. I say the same thing everyday to my young players. If you want something go and get it. Just because you're playing for Bacup Borough doesn't mean you can't go on and have a successful career in the game. You never know who know who's watching.'