A world of sweat and grass where millions of dreams come true. a place to deliver your rawest emotions, whether your tears or your laughter. a field where  the feet of those dance, whom we worship. Its football. But this sacred game has made some of the talented and our favourite players’ life a living nightmare. Am talking about those successful and talented footballers who have become bankrupt as the conspiracy of fate.

David James

David James

The story of David is more painful than others. This 44 years English goalkeeper played in the Premier League for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth. After being declared bankrupt in 2014 he was bound to sell hundreds of items of football items collected during his career, to pay off the debts. The list is endless including 150 signed shirts, shorts and match balls as well as his customised Vauxhall Astra van and Raleigh Chopper bikes. It feels bad when a successful player and a fine writer and charitable man like him suffer in such a situation. Right now he is the manager of the team Kerala Blaster of the ISL.

Keith Gillespie

40 years old retired Irish winger Keith Gillespie lost everything and declared bankrupt on October 2010 as a result of his gambling addiction. He lost over £7million for his gambling addiction. He has won 86 international caps during his career and played for clubs like Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Sheffield United. His autobiography “How Not to Be a Football Millionaire” published in 2013 that focuses on the loses he faced.

Lee Hendrie

At 37 years old English midfielder who won an England cap and was viewed as one of the best youthful English players of the late 1990s. But In January 2012 he was declared bankrupt and tried to commit suicide two times. He played for teams like Aston Villa where he spent almost fourteen years. The mismanagement in investment and a hard core divorce dragged him to the position he never even imagined.

Brad Friedel

Brad Friedel

Brad Friedel has a different story behind his bankruptcy. This Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper also played for clubs like Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Aston Villa suffered from bankruptcy due to his ambitious project of launching a non-profit soccer academy to provide coaching on a full-tuition scholarship for youths aged 12 and above. This dream project cost him around $10,000,000 that leads him to fatal consequences of bankruptcy.

Eric Djemba-Djemba

The story of Eric Djemba is almost the same as others. This 33 years old Cameroon midfielder was once part of clubs like Manchester United and Aston Villa. He was declared bankrupt in 2007; a man earned almost £4million from English football. Right now Djemba is playing for the Persebaya Surabaya, a professional football club of Indonesia.

Celestine Babayaro

36 years old former Chelsea player Celestine Babayaro lost everything after investing on his dream house to live with his family. The £475,000 property dealing was the wrongest decision of his life. After the injury that halted his career he tried to revive it by joining LA Galaxy alongside David Beckham. But fate ditched him. A gold winner for Nigeria at Atlanta ’96 Olympic is living a life of misery.

John Arne Riise

John Arne Riise

a 34 years Norwegian footballer who plays as a left back for APOEL  is the most-capped player for the Norwegian national team with a 110 caps in his possession. As per the report he became bankrupt as a result of bitter legal issue for a fraud case of $5 million with his agent at one time.

Paul Merson

Another successful player, under the curse of mighty. once played for teams like Arsenal, Aston Villa who lost almost $5 million as a result of his drinking, gambling and drug addiction. It is said that there was a time when he was almost on the street.

Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton

this 42 years old former Chelsea player was the first player who once earned £5 million and that was a British record of that time but faced terrible financial crisis when he was trapped in a foul speedy rich plan where he was initially gaining a lot but then his greed and thoughtless decisions wash out more than $150,000 only to make him bankrupt.

Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne was described by the National Football Museum as “the most naturally gifted English midfielder of his generation” whose life after retirement became more pathetic than ever. His excessive alcoholism and mental illness including bipolar symptom and depression made his life doomed forever. Gascoigne was declared bankrupt over a £200,000 tax bill In November 2008.

 Alan Hudson

Alan Anthony Hudson now 63 years old is a former English midfielder who played for clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Stoke City as well as for the England national football team. The reason of this senior footballer is alcoholism that engulfed him after his retirement.

Wrap up

As they say ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. For us football is the world of perfection. But for few, the field has taken almost everything from them making it cruel for them. Though it is unfair to blame the game as it is a reckless lifestyle or rather say a personal tragedy that left few footballers with nothing. We can only hope these footballers find a way to win their battle [some of them have already pulled off their situation].

“Don’t give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half”

[by Paul Bear Bryant]