Sonny Pike was touted as the next Maradona. At 14 he was doing McDonalds adverts and had his legs ascertained for 1m, but three years later he wanted the world to feed him up and take him away. He reveals what happened next …
Sonny Pike recollects the game and there were so, so many tournaments that raised him to the edge. I was on trial at Palace, playing against Spurs, out of posture on the left wing. The coincide was going on around me and I simply thought to myself: You know what? I precisely miss the whole world to devour me up and take me away from here.
What happened next does difficult listening. Pike wasted the mid-1 990 s being touted as the next Diego Maradona, shuttled between agents, sponsorship deals, television impressions, visitations at Premier League associations and a high-profile fortnight with Ajax. The wavy whisker and cherubic peculiarities made a household name of a young player who should not really have been referred to in those terms. Pike was just a child and by the age of 17 it had all become too much. My head was finished, I was croak, he replies. I was suicidal on occasion, in a bad lieu for a long time. I couldnt take it and used to think calling it a day.
Pikes story has been held up as the example cautionary narrative for garlanded genius, yet it has been shrouded in mystery and half-truths. Now 32, “hes been” motivated to resurface after becoming a father of two and considering the damage that had been done to his own childhood. A radio interview with TalkSport the coming week was like therapy, really, its chilled me out so much; the effects of his teenage years had bottled up and hearing what happened would be a jolt to the appreciations of anyone naive enough to believe parties are automatically knowledge to look after young footballers interests.
Not least those close to them. Playing for his youth side in Essex, Pike tells the Guardian that he scored about 150 points a season, 300 if you count the other challengers I played in, although he saw himself as more of a No10, a Dennis Bergkamp. Scouts initiated to take notice and by the age of 12 or 13 he was representing East Anglia at a Mini World Cup tournament in Denmark, playing alongside Ashley Young and David Bentley. How many scouts did you have today? he and Bentley would request each other after games. The inquests submerge in and descended at the feet of his father Mickey, a builder by sell. Mickey had never pictured any interest in the boast itself but, according to Pike, insured a chance to grasp.
Pike says he imagines his father was thirsty for the public attention and went carried away by the publicity surface of things, and did me a great deal of damage. The benefit, and even more importantly the schedule that came with them, swiftly became overwhelming. Hed get together with reporters, do slice and earn money on the side out of all the attention I was get. By around 14 or 15 I was living with the added benefit of a professional be supported by Paul Smith and Mizuno, free invests, legs ascertained for 1m, McDonalds adverts, Coca-Cola promotions.
Read more: www.theguardian.com