Ricketts, who played for squads including Arsenal, Tottenham, England’s U-21, and Toronto FC, offers up some telling anecdotes.
I had a good friend who started taking cocaine and the next thing I know he’s asking me for money. I refused because I thought he was just going to spend it all on drugs. Then I found out he was trying to set up somebody in my family to get kidnapped. I only found out because he told too many people.
And then there’s this, which is very sweet:
I was so shocked when I got my pay slip because I got more that month then my dad gets in a year. That night I was lying in bed awake stunned. At four in the morning I had to go down to the cash machine to check my balance to see if it was real. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I bought a car, a black C-Class Mercedes and a Cartier watch. Then I went away to Turkey with the England under 21s and Jermain Defoe showed me some jewellery he’d just bought – so I got the number of his jeweller and straight away ordered two diamond encrusted rings and two earrings. I’d spent almost half of my wages in two weeks on different fickle ‘toys’ as I call them.
Turns out young, rich athletes make the same mistakes across the pond as well. But read Ricketts’ account; at least he’s self-aware enough to understand.
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