Adeyemi turned down place at Cambridge University to become a footballer
On Saturday afternoon, 20-year-old Thomas Oleseun Adeyemi turned off his mobile phone and went shopping with his girlfriend, a desperate attempt to find some kind of normality after becoming a reluctant figure in the latest race storm to grip English football.
It is fair to assume that when the academically gifted youngster turned down Cambridge University two years ago to pursue his dream in professional football, it was not part of the plan to be driven to tears by alleged racial abuse at a stadium like Anfield.
Adeyemi, described by his manager at Oldham Athletic Paul Dickov as 'a placid boy with a fantastic temperament', is hardly a typical footballer.
Turning pro: Tom Adeyemi signs on for Norwich City, watched by then-manager Glenn Roeder (centre) and proud father Elijah Adeyemi
Norwich-born Tom is the son of Elijah, who comes from Nigeria, and Toni, and his parents run healthcare companies in East Anglia.
He attended Norwich School, a fee-paying, co-educational school which has one of the best academic records in the region. The school, which dates back to 1096, includes Viscount Horatio Nelson, the hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, among its famous former pupils.
After receiving A-stars at A-level in biology and chemistry and an A in mathematics, Adeyemi was offered a place at Cambridge University. But by then he was already on loan at Bradford City, having signed for his home-town club, Norwich City, at 17, and he turned down Cambridge to pursue his footballing dreams.
'It's something I see as being important when I've finished playing,' he said at the time. 'Once you've got the results, they'll always be there for you. I've started off a career in football so hopefully the qualifications are something I can use in the future rather than right now.'
Star pupil: Adeyemi collects his A-level results at Norwich School
His loan spell at Oldham was meant to be part of that football development and an FA Cup tie at Anfield an exciting chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy.
Instead, he has been seen by millions of fans around the world on television and social networking sites with his face crumpled in tears after at least one fan on the Kop appeared to abuse him in the most derogatory racial terms.
Back in Norfolk, there was shock that Adeyemi should be the target of something so unsavoury.
Neighbours Annabelle and Edward Gooch, who live next to the Adeyemi family's 600,000 home on the outskirts of Norwich, were clearly upset at seeing his distress.
'The family have been very dear neighbours,' said Annabelle. 'Tom is an extremely intelligent young man. I don't even want to read the papers because I'd get too upset. I couldn't bear anything or anyone to have hurt Tom.'
Outraged: Adeyemi reacts to the alleged abuse
Her husband, 73-year-old Edward, said he was 'disgusted' by reports of what had been said to Adeyemi.
'Tom is a wonderful lad,' he said. 'He went to the school where my daughter is employed in Norwich and had the highest academic results of his year.
'The family moved here about 10 years ago and his parents are very proud of him. He was one of the best pupils in the whole of Norfolk and wants to be a doctor after his footballing career. When I read what was allegedly said to Tom, I could not believe it.'
Norwich and Oldham were rallying round Adeyemi on Saturday night, hoping the incident will not put off the promising young midfielder from going on to enjoy an excellent career in the game.
His loan deal at Oldham, which began in September, was extended until the end of January just last week.
'He is only a kid learning the game, one of the nicest lads you will ever meet,' said Norwich manager Paul Lambert, who made a point of contacting Adeyemi after the incident. 'He is a really intelligent lad.'