Latest News

recent

Skint ex-Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue hides from bailiffs, sleeps on pal's floor and can't afford washing machine

Eleven years ago he was lining up to take part in the biggest club match in world football.

During an illustrious seven-year career in the Premier League , he pocketed millions of pounds in wages, lived in a mansion and drove flashy cars.
Now ex-Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue spends his days hiding from ­bailiffs, sometimes sleeps on the floor of a friend’s home, travels by bus and even cleans his clothes by hand because he has no washing machine.

Today, the 34-year-old tells how his staggering riches-to-rags plight has pushed him to the brink of suicide.

“I want God to help me,” he says. “Only he can help take these thoughts from my mind.”

To listen to Eboue open his heart is as harrowing as it is shocking.

He wants to talk openly and honestly in a bid to encourage others going through the same ordeal to open up.

The Sunday Mirror, through its Time To Change campaign, has been battling for the past six years to smash the stigma associated with the mental ill health with which Eboue is now suffering.

At the peak of his career with Arsenal he became a fans’ favourite. He was part of the side that faced Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final.

Arsenal lost but Eboue remains a cult-hero at the Emirates Stadium, as much for his happy demeanour and his goal celebrations as the ability which saw him help the Ivory Coast reach the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Final.

That joy, however, has been replaced by tears – and a deep fear of the future.

Eboue, currently unable to play football because of ill-health, says he has been pushed to the brink. He has:
Lost a bitter divorce battle, with his wife Aurelie awarded all of their assets.
Had to hide from cops and bailiffs after being ordered by a judge to transfer his remaining Enfield home to his wife.
Faced a heartbreaking estrangement from his three kids, who he has not seen since June.
Been grieving after the cancer death of grandfather Amadou Bertin – who raised him – and the loss of his brother N’Dri Serge, killed in a motorbike accident.

He splits his time between the Enfield house and the home of a ­confidante he calls his “sister” – Yasmin Razak.

He often sleeps on a mattress on her living room floor.

But even watching TV – and seeing the likes of former team-mate Thierry Henry as a football pundit – triggers negative thoughts.

He adds: “When I see Thierry I feel happy for him but ashamed of my own situation.

"When I see friends on TV that I played with or against I say to myself ‘I should still be there’. It’s hard to watch them.”

Both Yasmin and another close pal, ex-Portsmouth and Newcastle striker Lomana Lua Lua, have been crucial in helping Eboue stay afloat.

Of Yasmin, he said: “I call her house The Bunker. I can hide there. She has children. I don’t want to disturb them, so I sleep on the floor.”

Eboue is devastated at spending Christmas apart from his own kids, daughters Clara, 14, and Maeva, 12, and son Mathis, nine.

He goes on: “It hurts me a lot. They used to call me. But now, no contact. It pains me to be alone without them.”

Eboue has been left without so much as a washing machine.

But he won’t be beaten, saying: “Every day I wash my jeans, my clothes, everything. My hands are hard. As though I have been working on a farm.

Eboue even recalls an occasion when bank staff visited him – to sign paperwork – at Arsenal’s training ground.

And he now wants other young African footballers to learn from his mistakes.

He says: “I look back and say ­‘Emmanuel, you have been naive... why didn’t you think about that before?’ It is hard.

"Very, very hard. The money I earned, I sent it to my wife for our children.

“In Turkey I earned eight million euros. I sent seven million back home. Whatever she tells me to sign, I sign.

"She is my wife. The problems with FIFA were because of people advising me. People who are supposed to care. But it was because of them FIFA banned me.”

Having surrendered the cars among assets transferred to his wife, Eboue now has an Oyster card and relies on London transport – while doing his best to avoid being recognised.

“I thank my grandmother because she taught me to wash, cook, clean, everything as a young man.

“I continue to thank God. I have my life. I didn’t want what has happened. I don’t wish it on anybody.”

While Eboue wants to return to playing one day, he would jump at the chance of working with former club Arsenal or players’ union the PFA.

He says: “I would accept help from anywhere but if my previous club wants to help me then I would be very, very happy. Maybe I could help the young players?

“The PFA helped me when I had my problems with my agent. If they gave me a job, even if it wasn’t a big, big job.

“Maybe I’d see some of the people I played with or against and I’d feel embarrassed. But I would cope.”
Skint ex-Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue hides from bailiffs, sleeps on pal's floor and can't afford washing machine Reviewed by Aderoju Olaitan on 6:43 pm Rating: 5
All Rights Reserved by My FrontPager © Since 2014
Powered By Front Pager , Designed by TopMedia INC Nig

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.