Thursday 28 May 2015

Ex-footballer reveals how he ended up in jail after gambling problem led to cocaine gang

A former footballer has revealed how he went from living his dream as a soccer star to finding himself in prison.
Ex-Newcastle United player Andy Ferrell was once tipped for great things after signing his first professional contract with the club under the great manager Sir Bobby Robson.

Despite this amazing start to his working life, Andy soon found himself on the wrong side of the law and is now rebuilding his life after getting caught up in a drug-dealing ring to feed his gambling addiction, which landed him behind bars.
Speaking to the Chronicle , the 31-year-old, who grew up in Newcastle's Newbiggin Hall estate, said: "I'm not a criminal, I'm just a normal lad. I got caught up in that and now it's something I have got to live with.
"I did throw everything away, but I'm not going to sit here and feel sorry for myself. I have made a mistake, there's no one else to blame, but I want to get my life back on track.
"Until the day I die Newcastle United and football will be my life. And I’m back in football now, and that's when I'm happiest"
Andy began training with Newcastle United at the age of nine.
"I had always been a fan and a season ticket holder so I was living every Geordie's dream," he said. "For me football was all I had ever known, and I was one of the fortunate ones who got to play professionally.
"It was an absolute dream come true. I was a normal lad from a council estate in Newcastle who was training with Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, and Bobby Robson was my boss."
Andy became firm friends with another young player rising through the ranks at Newcastle United - Michael Chopra.
And while the pair enjoyed their first taste of life as professional footballers Andy said both struggled to settle into the lifestyle, which gave them a lot of free time when they were not training.

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