Once their professional career is over, footballers will often see retirement as an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time away from the media spotlight and do what they please.
But sometimes, players can fall on hard times and get caught up in several vices that can drain them of the comfortable position that they created for themselves.
This is exactly what has happened to former Arsenal and England defender Kenny Sansom who has reportedly become homeless and bankrupt due to gambling and alcohol addictions.
With the former star at rock bottom, The Gunners have revealed that they are doing what they can to help the player overcome his difficulties and are offering guidance about how to overcome his demons.
Sansom’s problems with alcohol and gambling developed during the 1980’s and the player has been struggling with the addictions constantly over the past 30 years.
It’s been that destructive that it has eventually cost the player not just his home but his family too having divorced his wife a couple of years ago.
Amongst reports of Sansom’s problems, Arsenal issued a statement reflecting on what they are doing to help their former star with a spokesperson stating that “We are aware of Kenny Sansom’s situation and have been providing him with ongoing support and guidance.”
Sansom has kept in contact with the club and has been a tour guide at the Emirates Stadium alongside being a pundit for several of their games.
Sansom was one of Arsenal’s most prominent players during the 1980’s and is the club’s second most capped player making 314 appearances over an 8 year period at Highbury.
Alongside that, Sansom was also a fan favourite at Crystal Palace where he started his career and notched up 172 appearances for The Eagles in a 5 year stint.
These strong spells saw Sansom become one of England’s most regular starters earning 88 caps and scoring 1 goal for the Three Lions.
Having fallen a long away from his past achievements, Sansom has admitted that now is the time to overcome his problems having reached rocked bottom. This was reflected on in comments made to the BBC where he said that “I am in a bad way. Arsenal are trying to help me, but I have got to try to help myself.”
It’s going to be a long, hard road for Sansom to overcome his problems but with the help from the likes of Arsenal and other community groups, there is still hope for the former Gunner to turn his life around for the better in the near future.