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By Mark Ward

Mark Ward loved all of the trappings of good fortune as the most well known and highly-rated correct wingers in soccer. "Wardy" proved an in a single day sensation at Oldham and persisted to be a celebrity at West Ham, guy urban, and Everton prior to inspiring Birmingham urban to Wembley glory. but if his occupation at the pitch ended, his lifestyles quickly unraveled. After failed enterprise ventures and the cave in of his marriage to his early life sweetheart he ended up unemployed—and determined. Ward positioned his identify to a condo contract on a home close to Liverpool that was once utilized by others to stash medications. whilst the police raided they discovered a medication manufacturing facility. He pleaded accountable to dealing and was once despatched to Liverpool's infamous Walton legal. His existence might by no means be an analogous. through the years he spent within he has been capable of think of a unprecedented enjoying occupation and an both eventful lifestyles off the pitch. He recounts in heart-wrenching element his highs and lows and tells it love it is with honesty that epitomized his taking part in career.

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He had a couple of quid in his pocket, he was once in an atmosphere the place he might work flat out and convey a specific amount of commitment and dedication, yet not easy partying used to be additionally on supply. such a lot folks caught to booze as our drug of selection. yet there have been different temptations throughout Billy – and he leapt at them. It used to be a nasty scenario, which acquired absolutely out of hand sooner than someone realised what used to be occurring to him. He was once a large number and possibly past the aid of any of his team-mates ahead of we have been conscious that his drug abuse was once destroying him. One Monday morning, someday no longer lengthy after that get together, I arrived at education early as traditional to have my cup of tea with Neville Southall, who was once already there. Nev was once upstairs brewing a cuppa whilst I walked into the dressing room. What I observed rocked me again on my heels. there has been Billy Kenny, sat stark bare within the nook along with his ft up at the bench, sincerely disorientated and greedy his erection. He regarded a pathetic sight, as though he used to be absolutely misplaced in each feel. He in basic terms uttered one sentence: ‘Wardy, I’m all f****d up. ’ i used to be too surprised to answer. I couldn’t give some thought to whatever to claim. I instantly legged it again up the steps to fetch Nev. jointly, we dragged Billy around the dressing room and introduced him, head-first, into the chilly plunge bath. We stood over him till his hard-on had subsided and he regarded as if he was once calming down a section. Then we placed him lower than the bathe, dried him off and helped him to place his package on. How he bought throughout the education that morning I’ll by no means understand. It wasn’t lengthy sooner than his drug difficulties turned universal wisdom one of the employees and his dying at Everton kicked in. I met up with Billy back many years again and was once thrilled to determine that he’d acquired his lifestyles again on the right track and looked as if it would have positioned his own difficulties at the back of him. It was once a number of hours after Billy’s bare dance with the stripper on the get together of ’92 that issues relatively received out of hand. I’d had much to drink yet occasionally issues take place that experience a sobering impression in a short time and this was once one in all them. throughout the process the night my fellow midfielder John Ebbrell stored on sneaking as much as me and slyly punching me earlier than operating off. i used to be dressed as Dennis The threat. In consuming phrases, ‘Ebbo’ used to be thought of a little bit a softie, and that i consider he notion that taking a couple of playful punches at me was once his top likelihood of winding me up. It should have been getting in the direction of one within the morning whilst he punched me for the final time – really not easy really – within the aspect of the pinnacle. As Ebbo ran off, my brother Billy stated to me: ‘He’s out of order, Mark. move and type him out. ’ i used to be really inebriated via that point, having been on it due to the fact o’clock that afternoon, so I’d been knocking again the booze for almost eleven hours good. As I became to move after Ebbo, I crashed into this large bloke, dressed as a cowboy, who was once status close by. I later discovered the toilet Wayne look-a-like used to be Dave Watson’s next-door neighbour. He was once huge, immense and his dress used to be exact down to the holster and gun – a reproduction, evidently, outfitted as much as paintings as a water pistol or cap-gun.

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