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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

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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.

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“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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They still bully me after 14 years – Aiyegbeni on missing tap-in for Nigeria

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Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has cried out over the bullying he suffers in the hands of Nigerians over the goal he missed 13 to 14 years ago.

Nigerian football fanatics are finding it difficult to forget the events of June 22, 2010 when Aiyegbeni missed a tap-in during a World Cup game between Nigeria and South Korea.

The miss came when Nigeria was trailing the Koreans 2-1 in their final Group A match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, South Africa.

The ‘Yak’ would later score from the penalty spot but Super Eagles fans were, at the time, unable to move past the unbelievable miss.

In a recent interview, the video was shared on social media platform, X, and he cried out that he is still getting messages from angry fans who are demanding an explanation of how he missed the tap-in with the goalkeeper and defenders out of the way.

“I still get messages from people. Different messages. I remember one was sending a message last week and he was like ‘how do you explain that goal missed to you daughter Kayla’ he mentioned my daughter’s name ‘Kayla’. I was like 13 to 14 years ago and people still think about that,” he said.

“I got a message today and someone was like ‘you’re the worst Super Eagles striker’ because of that particular goal I missed. They never think about all the other goals I’ve scored.

“They never think about when I scored goals in Sudan when nobody thought we’d qualify for Korea Japan 2002. We went to Sudan. Nobody ever thought we’d qualify because the weather there was crazy. If we get a draw or lose we’re out.

“There I scored 2 goals. Julius Aghahowa scored one and Jay Jay Okocha, ‘pa Jay’ scored another one. We won 4-0. That gave us the ticket and went to Korea-Japan 2000.

“But people in Nigeria never speak about how I made them qualify but didn’t go to the World Cup. I was shocked. I played 99.9% of every game to qualify Nigeria for Japan/Korea and I was dropped.”

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Inter Miami making Messi work too hard – Coach, Martino

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Inter Miami are expecting too much work from their Argentine star Lionel Messi, coach Gerardo Martino said on Friday, ahead of the team’s Florida derby clash with Orlando City.

Miami are unbeaten in their opening two games, with a home win over Real Salt Lake followed by a draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.

But with a busy run of fixtures for club and country coming up for Messi this month, Martino says the team need to find a way to reduce the eight-times Ballon d’Or winner’s workload.

“I feel that in these last two matches, he has expended too much energy, and that is also my responsibility to make sure the team operates in a way that we can use him in the best way,” Martino told reporters.

Messi has been playing in a relatively free role, behind former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, often floating deep to find the ball and then seeking to drive his team up the field.

It was Messi’s stoppage time goal that earned Miami a point at the Galaxy but Martino says the performance took a lot out of the 36-year-old.

“I’ve been discussing some things with him and what concerns me the most is the day-to-day and how he is recovering game by game. I feel that in these first two matches, we have relied on him too much, which has caused him significant fatigue in both games,” he said.

The former Argentina and Mexico national team coach said the team have to re-find a way to provide Messi service closer to goal.

“In the Leagues Cup game against Orlando (last season), he often found the ball in the final quarter of the field and was able to finish the play, he scored from inside the area. That’s what we need to get back to, the team finding him to make plays and sometimes finding him for the finishes,” he said.

Miami are hoping their latest Argentine signing, midfielder Federico Redondo will have his paperwork resolved in order to make his debut on Saturday.

 

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Lagos FA Cup Kicks Off With No Sponsor, 80 Clubs Eye Star Prize

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Chairman Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, Ogboni Fouad Oki says this year’s Lagos State Challenge Cup popularly known as Lagos FA Cup would go ahead without sponsor.

The much awaited Lagos FA Cup would kick off on Saturday 2 March 2024 across the designated centers.

No fewer than 80 clubs are expected to participate in this year’s edition.

Although Winners Golden Bet, a well known Betting Company has been sponsoring the Lagos FA Cup more than six years, but the company is not part of this year’s edition which gives football stakeholders a lot of concerns.

Oki explained that he is not disturbed that no company or individual has partnered with the association for FA Cup but remained optimistic that the competition would get a sponsor before it gets to the quarter final stage.

“I am not too bothered about the sponsorship of the competition.If you look at the country presently, many companies are still struggling to survive but i want to assure the participating teams and football fans before the tournament reaches quarter final, sponsor would surely come.

“We the organising committee are still working on the possibility to get one or two sponsors on board.Like i said i am not really worried and the most important things is that the competition would kick off on Saturday,”he said.

The Lagos FA boss expressed satisfaction with the number of teams that are participating in this year’s edition.

He disclosed that the state has largest number of entries among the states in the country and charged the teams that would represent the the state to do well in the Federation Cup and possibly win the trophy.

“Lagos has number of entries compare to other states that have less than 10 teams in their state’s FA Cup.If we have such numbers of teams registered and i expect any team that would represent Lagos should make us proud and bring the Federation Cup back to the state,”he said.

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