Bennydevito here on a guest post tip, in what hopefully won’t be quite as long-winded as my Emirates Cup escapade!
A lot of you have probably seen the sad news that ex 80’s Arsenal Captain; Kenny Sansom, is back on the sauce after falling on hard times. This sadly coming after a really positive 5 months sober. Some of you may not have heard the news and the younger Grovers may not even know who he is.
So a little refresher:
Kenny joined Arsenal for £1m from Crystal Palace and was at the Arsenal for 8 years. He was the captain before Tony Adams and he managed to land a whopping 86 caps for England. Kenny was my first childhood Arsenal idol who I related to because he rocked a moustache that was the same as my Dad’s. I loved his drive and energy, he was a sight to behold. I remember him lifting the league cup after beating Liverpool 2 -1 at the old Wembley. Great times, I’m sure many of you connect with.
His latest interview that I saw a few Thursdays ago on ITV News London was sad to see. I watched him on the Jeremy Kyle show back in January and that was tough to watch too but left me feeling hopeful that Kenny was back on the mend. So seeing him now drinking and gambling again and even contemplating suicide is just awful.
I know how he feels.
My Dad took his life after battling alcoholism and depression and I too have had problems with alcohol and depression. Two of my best friends are recovering alcoholics and seeing Kenny struggling again cuts pretty close to the bone. So I’ve asked Pedro if I could write a guest post as a show of support to an old hero of mine, and for all Gooners around London and the World, to tell him that we care, we remember him and we want him to hang on in there.
Kenny had this to say on his interview on This Morning:
“People are going to say it’s the same old story, you feel sorry for yourself so you have a drink, but that is me, that is my life.
‘I’m trying to get away from life. I can’t explain how great my life was [when I was playing football].
‘Football was easy for me… football is just simple, but life, for me that’s the thing I’m finding very difficult – and there’s a way out of it which is put a drink down your throat and you feel better.”
Awful. I wondered if Arsenal or the FA should be doing more to help people like Kenny, but from what I understand, the club has done a lot already.
A good start would be to get him somewhere to live that isn’t above a pub, and to give him the motivation to get off the drink and give him some purpose in his life. I’m not sure what the answer is there, but I fear the only person who can work that out is Kenny himself. Hopefully he finds the strength to do so.
So anyway – here’s to you Kenny, you’re still a hero of mine, I’m sending love and positivity to you and am asking Gooners, Grovers, Arsenal and England to do the same.
Until next time Grovers. You can find me on Twitter @BennydevitoBen