This former player, alcoholic, ruined and homeless

This former player, alcoholic, ruined and homeless

Launched at the highest level at Chelsea, Jacob Mellis was forced to end his career. At 32, plagued by alcohol problems, he is homeless.

In the galaxy, supplied, of players who have passed through Chelsea for twenty years, he is clearly not the best known. Arrived at the Blues at only 16 years old from Sheffield United for 1.3 million euros, Jacob Mellis nevertheless remained no less than five seasons with the Blues before being dismissed after having set fire to the locker room while trying to a joke with a smoke bomb.

But in five years, the young Englishman had to settle for a single appearance with the first team, in a Champions League match against the Slovaks of Zilina during which he came into play in the 92nd. minute. Dismissed from Chelsea, the native of then scoured the clubs of D2, D3 and even English D4, before having to end his career at only 31 years old. Blame it on a misdiagnosed knee injury.

They tried to help me

His career will not have been the one hoped for when he was selected in U16, U17 and even English U19. result of his addiction to alcohol. “Throughout my career, alcohol has caused me problems. When we drink, we no longer have complete control. It had an influence on my level in training, he thus explained to the DailyMail. I remember once when I came to a session drunk. I must have been 19. Steve Holland (then assistant coach with the Blues) had sent me back inside. It happened several times. David Luiz, who didn’t speak English very well yet, asked me if I had been drinking during a warm-up. He told me to stop by giving me a sign. I had been given a mentor, Ashley Cole, to talk to me and help me stop going out at parties. They tried to help me, I’m not going to lie. But I was arrogant back then. If I was not called up (in a match), I was frustrated and I went out drinking. »

And the worst was yet to come for Jacob Mellis. At the – brutal – end of his career, the striker found himself ruined, homeless, forced to rely on the generosity of his relatives.. “I spend my days looking for where I can sleep that night. I have family, they want the best for me but I don’t want to be a burden on them. They help me to sleep at the hotel or at their house sometimes. But I want to do things on my own. It is complicated. I try not to think about it too much, to move on,” he breathed, before acknowledging that he had not solved his alcohol problems, quite the contrary: “I drink whenever I can, whenever I have the chance, just to forget the stress. But I’m trying to rectify my drinking. »

If the picture is particularly gloomy, Jacob Mellis sees a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to Chelsea, who recently reached out to him by offering him to take his recruiting diplomas. “I spent them with them and the English Federation at Stamford Bridge, he confided. I think it’s something I like. I like to see young players evolve, I see the potential in them. I watch football every day and I think I can help new generations off the field, to avoid them having to go through what I went through. »

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