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By Kenny Sansom, Rita Wright

Powerful, trustworthy and recognized for his skill to paintings in pinpoint crosses from the left, Kenny was once a company fixture within the cup-winning Arsenal and England defences for many of the Eighties. He received a record-breaking 86 overseas caps and featured in lots of of the main fascinating England fits of the period. between many insights from outdated team-mates and revered managers, Kenny unearths the reality approximately Maradona's debatable 'Hand of God' target. all through all of it, Kenny's confident angle by no means got here into query. He was once by no means booked, not to mention despatched off. yet off the pitch, the addictive part of his character threatened to wreck not just his profession yet his rock-solid family members lifestyles too. fanatics have been stored at the hours of darkness through protecting supervisor George Graham, however it was once the 2 ladies in Kenny's existence who stored him - his dedicated mom and the spouse he'd met in the course of his tuition days. Kenny has came upon the energy to struggle again from the edge and defeat the demons of drink and playing. For the 1st time, he unearths the tale of a guy on the top fulfillment, but dangerously on the subject of wasting all of it. Kenny Sansom considers himself a fortunate guy. yet he additionally understands he's driven that good fortune, and is lucky to have survived. As a footballer he soared to nice heights - yet as somebody he additionally sank to life-threatening lows. The fanatics within the Highbury terraces can have sung his identify yet no-one ever relatively knew the total fact in regards to the soccer icon.

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I additionally loved our weekend play time in London’s hotspots. at the pitch we’d run, shield, assault, and paintings on abilities prepared for Saturday and midweek suits. That we have been united as a staff used to be now not in query. yet for me, the time among one o’clock while education ended and 5 o’clock while I’d eventually achieve domestic, i'd simply slip away. a number of the different hard-core drinkers went off to the pub jointly – united and chuffed to talk approximately every thing from girls to soccer to playing (and now not unavoidably in that order), ahead of going domestic to their other halves and girlfriends for dinner. I, nonetheless, will be determined for solitude. Depleted after giving a hundred in step with cent to my task, I craved my very own corporation. So I’d slide into the glossy new automobile that was once now good inside my finances and start the lengthy trip again to Epsom. (These have been my early days at Arsenal, so we have been nonetheless in Surrey and we have been but to maneuver to north London. ) a number of miles down the line I’d pull into considered one of my many pit stops as I travelled via Muswell Hill, Crouch finish, on in the direction of Highbury and Islington after which eventually over the water. as soon as within the defense of identified territory, I’d cease on the Elephant and chateau, prior to resuming my trip onwards via Brixton, Tooting and Streatham, till I reached the leafy suburbs guiding me domestic to Epsom. It was once one hell of an extended trip. every now and then I’d locate someplace to park legally, frequently a parking lot of a few type, considering I didn’t are looking to park on a meter, the place there has been a deadline and I’d be at risk of having a parking price tag or clamped. I knew that when I entered my twilight sector in a making a bet workplace or pub I’d lose all feel of time. as soon as within the bookie’s I’d research the shape and position my first wager of the lengthy afternoon that lay forward. I’d nod a well mannered ‘hello’ to the opposite punters prior to taking flight into my much-needed own house. This surroundings used to be unusually comforting and it used to be a convenience I craved. After putting my bets i'd climb again into the automobile and force in the direction of domestic with my song enjoying. there have been no cellphones as such then, so I didn’t need to fear approximately having to modify off the skin global. whilst I reached my subsequent ordinary making a bet place of work, I’d cost to determine if my horse or puppy had gained after which position one other wager. therefore was once my staggered experience domestic – making time, taking part in for time, yet by no means on time. earlier than I reached my domestic, the pub and fruit computing device could name to me, and the possibilities of my ignoring the possibility of disappearing into oblivion have been nil. i believe crimson Floyd known as it, ‘comfortably numb’. With one hand retaining a tumbler of wine and the opposite tapping buttons within the wish of hitting the jackpot, I blanked out the area round me. Don’t get me mistaken, I enjoyed every thing approximately my global, I simply couldn’t stay with no this pocket of escapism. in a single experience you'll say i used to be getting into an emotional barren region, a spot that was once harmful to my well being – and, in fact, it used to be. yet, in one other feel, by way of taking a while out for simply me (not Kenny Sansom the Arsenal hero or the unswerving husband and attentive father), I controlled to stay intact as somebody.

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