This week disturbing pictures appeared online of Arsenal’s own Kenny Sansom (via the Daily Mail) in a park getting smashed and forgetting his life with a bottle of Mateus Rose wine.
Kenny is highly regarded in the football world as one of Arsenal’s and England’s finest defenders. It was only Ashely Cole who has ended up beating Sansom’s record of 86 England caps at left back for England (via the Mirror).
He played over 300 games for Arsenal too (via the Daily Mail), and only Patrick Vieira racked up more international caps whilst wearing the red and white of the Gunners.
Unfortunately, these images of previous great players who for whatever reason are taunted while they leave the playing field. Paul Gascoigne is another who’s life is full of demons and similarly to Kenny it doesn’t seem to be too much football related issues that have caused it.
Kenny Sansom cheated on his wife, she left him and he has just never recovered from it (via the Daily Mail). He has been a car crash ever since and has gambling and alcohol related problems, and not only has lost the support of his childhood sweetheart wife but also lost his family and his home.
“Money, my ex-wife, there’s a lot of things I could have done better. It’s my fault, all the things I feel sad about, it’s my fault,” he told The Mirror.
“I just don’t want to be around, I don’t want to be living the horrible life that I’m living.”
Now, not for one minute do I condone Kenny’s actions but surely there must be more that actual fans can do to get this fallen star back on a level to lead a normal life. What he has done is bad of that there is no doubt, but he has claimed he’d rather be dead than alive and he has also said he is sorry and regrets his actions and that it’s all his fault. Surely that is a hard admission.
I have heard him talk about football on the odd occasion on Sky and his views are insightful and knowledgeable. Yet we have Phil Neville and Andy Townsend and don’t get me starting on the Jamie’s of death giving us bullsh*t views on the game we love.
I have heard that the PFA are looking to support Kenny (via the Daily Mail) but they are going to need to do a bit more than send him to the priory to dry out. This guy in his own words has said he needs to feel safe and needs a bed to sleep in. He currently gets £622 from his pension each month of which he would have to give half to his wife, the rest he blows on gambling and booze.
Surely this can’t be the end of a footballing hero just to whittle away like this?
I don’t think that any one thing can help Kenny, and if he carries on the same path we will no longer need to help. People will then say how terrible it is and what more could they have done then just to carry on and put it down to tragedy. Surely as fans who watch the game and worship the modern day players like gods, would we be there to support if they become unstuck in later life t?
People talk about a football community and/or an Arsenal community, well surely a community is about helping one of your own or am I wrong? A community is perhaps what I have seen in the Northern parts of Vietnam when tribes all work together to help each other out and nobody gets left behind. Well if we truly have a community then let’s knuckle down, what options do we have to bring this man back to having some sort of normal existence again?
60,000 fans head into the Emirates most weeks to watch players who are earning £100k per week. Kenny in his prime earned £1200 a week which don’t get me wrong was a great wage for its day but the difference is phenomenal. Then we have millions of fans young and old across the world who claim to want to feel part of this Arsenal Community. With this global presence surely we can help.
Therefore I would suggest that we actually find out how we can make a difference, how can we make social media and the internet help one of our fallen?
I would propose that we set up a Help Kenny fund where we urge Arsenal fans globally to give just £1 to help get this man a home and the funds to rebuild his life. I am not expecting this to take off, but just imagine it did and you as part of the ‘Arsenal Community’ or anyone else in the football world contributed how you would feel?
Please write you response below and if we get interest then we can look at setting up a secure page for this cause.