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“I had no mum, no father, multiple step-mothers and I was surrounded by drugs and crimes” – Jermaine Pennant opens up about childhood trauma



Jermaine Pennant has opened up about his childhood trauma and claims he can relate to Everton star Dele Alli after his interview with Gary Neville.

Pennant played in the Premier League for the majority of his career and represented the likes of Arsenal, Birmingham City, Liverpool and Stoke City.

Pennant has admitted to binge-drinking and addictions while battling with depression, which is something he now claims is down to his childhood trauma.

The former Champions League finalist opened up about his experiences on TalkSport. But what did Pennant say about his footballing career and why did he go to jail?

Jermaine Pennant praised Dele Alli for opening up about the trouble he faced in his life and claims he could relate to a lot of what he was saying on a personal level.

Alli spoke candidly to Gary Neville about his childhood trauma and said he was sexually assaulted at six years old. Alli went on to explain that he suffered from addiction to sleeping pills and excessive alcohol consumption.

Pennant expressed the importance of Alli’s interview and how helpful speaking up can be. He said: “When you bottle these things up it’s like a timebomb, and it will go off unexpectedly and you become very high risk of addictions. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, gambling. Anything to take that hurt away, anything that gives you joy, you will go to.

“And now he’s spoken openly about what he went through. He can move past that trauma, past that hurt and it will not now dictate his life and his choices.”

What did Jermaine Pennant say about his childhood?
Jermaine Pennant opened up about his childhood during an interview on TalkSport.

He said: “I would go work, go training, I would put on a brave face and smile. I’d play up because there was so much trauma and darkness inside me. I was embarrassed to tell my story about what I went through and where I came from.”

Pennant went on to discuss his childhood. He explained that he was abandoned by his mother at the age of three and says he was raised by his dad, who neglected him.

Pennant said: “I would take myself to school at the age of eight, I would make my own dinner. Which was usually cornflakes. It got to a stage where my friends called me the cornflake boy as that was all I was eating.”

Pennant’s dad became a drug addict during his early teens and he added that he was surrounded by drugs and crime during his childhood.

The footballer added: “I had no mum, no father, multiple step-mothers and I was surrounded by drugs and crimes. I was also diagnosed with ADHD so as a child I was battling with that.”

Pennant claimed he never told anyone about the issues he faced and believes that it damaged his career in football.

He said: “I made bad decisions. I remember in my second year at Liverpool, I couldn’t work out why I was depressed. When things weren’t going well on the field I’d unleash it in any way possible.

“I’d want to go out, to be around people, I’d try anything as pain relief, to get drunk, binge drink, to numb the pain.”

Jermaine Pennant was a member of the Arsenal academy who emerged as an upcoming prospect after a loan spell at Leeds in 2003/04.

The prospect made 24 appearances for England’s under-21 team and signed for Birmingham City in 2004.

In 2005, the footballer was sentenced to 90 days in prison for drink driving, whilst being disqualified. He was allowed out after 30 days but was forced to wear an electronic tag.

Pennant praised former manager Steve Bruce during this period and claims he regularly visited him during his time in prison.


“He came to visit me in prison. Not to talk about Birmingham. To come to see me, as a person, as a young man, to see how I was doing and my health.

“It was weird because everyone knew who he was. Everyone was looking around in the meeting room but that meant a lot.”

He added: “Most managers that I have had have thrown me away, ‘go and train with the kids’, never had a conversation where they’d ask me if I was alright in the head, everything okay at home?”

Pennant retired from football in 2018 and he now works as a pundit for TalkSport. He says he has turned his life around and credits this to therapy which gave the help that he needed.


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National Anti-Doping Bill 2024: Sports Minister applauds Tinubu’s foresightedness



The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh salutes President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for placing premium on the National Anti-Doping Bill , thereby giving the Nation a reputation.

The transmission of the Anti-doping Bill 2024 to the National Assembly and the accelerated passage of same remains a landmark achievement of this administration. It is a show of the courageous and bold leadership of the president, a final and appropriate response to the perennial issues of doping that have characterized Nigeria’s relationship with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

Senator John Owan Enoh the sports minister always made it clear that this administration was greeted with WADA issuing a notice to ban Nigeria from International Competitions which degenerated to the point that the agency took Nigeria to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Amidst other non-compliant issues, the main challenge was Nigeria’s inability to domesticate the National Anti-doping Law and setting up a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) as part of its obligation having signed the international convention in 1999.

“ for years,the country has grappled with meeting up to the expectations of the World Anti-Doping Organization ,despite being a foundational signatory for 25 years.
Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm due to its inability to domesticate the Anti-Doping Law with the backing of parliament.
I must thank our sports loving president for his foresight immediately the issues were brought before him .His foresight and actions have put the country on the right path in sports.
I also appreciate the National Assembly for the passage of the bill ,consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters during plenary.
The county will no longer have doubts of its participation in global sporting events, eligibility to host sports competitions amongst other perennial issues” the Sports Minister said.

This welcome development comes weeks before the country’s participation at the Paris Olympics 2024.


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Bafana Bafana Must Fall, Sports Minister Charges Super Eagles



Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, on Monday, rallied support of critical stakeholders and Nigerians for Finidi George,

With the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in full swing, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has called on the Super Eagles to shift their focus from their recent African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and concentrate on the crucial task of securing a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The Super Eagles are set to face Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, and Senator Enoh stated that Nigeria must approach the tie as a make-or-break one, as victory will put the team back on track for qualification.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest showpiece in football,” Senator Enoh emphasized. “We cannot afford to miss out on the World Cup again. The disappointment of missing the last tournament, especially after the disappointing home match against the Black Stars, must drive us to ensure we qualify this time.”

Senator Enoh urged all stakeholders, including players, coaches, and support staff, to be fully committed to the qualification campaign. “All hands must be on deck to ensure the team qualifies for the World Cup,” he stressed. “I urge the players to get the job done in the first half of the game by scoring early goals, so they are not under pressure in the second half.”

“The upcoming match against South Africa is critical,” Senator Enoh said. “The players need to put the AFCON glory behind them and concentrate fully on this task. Early goals will be key to taking control of the game and ensuring a less pressured second half.”

Senator Enoh concluded by expressing confidence in the Super Eagles’ ability to rise to the occasion and secure a much-needed victory. “We have the talent, the passion, and the support of millions of Nigerians. Let’s channel that into a winning performance and take a significant step towards World Cup qualification.”

The match will kick off at 8 p.m. local time on Friday, June 7, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo. Nigeria currently has two points from two games and sits third in their group of six teams.


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South Africa coach names Super Eagles winger as danger man ahead of WCQ



South Africa coach, Hugo Broos, has named Super Eagles and Atalanta winger, Ademola Olajade Lookman as the danger man for Nigeria ahead of both teams’ clash this evening, reports.

Both sides met in the semi-final of the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast, with the Super Eagles emerging victorious after 120 minutes of intense football. Stanley Nwabali was the hero, denying Bafana Bafana twice from twelve yards.

Lookman is a leading candidate for the CAF Player of the Year Award, after a stellar season with Atalanta, getting to the Copa Italia final, and scoring a hat-trick against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final.

Broos, speaking in his presser ahead of their game against Nigeria, highlighted the Atalanta man as the threat for his side but admitted their focus as a team won’t be on the former Leicester City forward.

“Obviously, the (Nigeria) danger man is Ademola Lookman, but we are not focusing on that. We are focusing on our game, we have the ability and we have proven that at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire,” the Belgian said in quotes revealed by Score Nigeria.

Lookman is primed to step up for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against South Africa tonight, alongside Victor Boniface, after the Nigerian attackers enjoyed success with their European club sides this season.

Samuel Chukwueze is a doubt for Finidi George ahead of tonight’s game. The A.C. Milan right winger did not take part in the final training session of the Super Eagles.


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