Welcome to The Athletic Mini, a brief format you will notice within the coming weeks on a few of our soccer protection. We’re so pleased with our lengthy reads, the element they’ve in them and the prospect they offer subscribers to delve deep into a subject they care about. We additionally know that you simply don’t all the time have time to learn numerous lengthy reads without delay.
So The Mini will run subscribers via the important thing factors of an extended learn in case you’re quick on time or need some newsy nuggets earlier than diving into the deeper learn later. We can be trialling it on a couple of articles, so we hope you get pleasure from them and tell us what you suppose.
Andre Knowledge knew he shouldn’t have been at that celebration.
It was June 2020 and the soccer season was simply resuming after months on maintain due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Knowledge, a former Liverpool defender who was as soon as thought of one in every of England’s most fun prospects, had attended a home celebration on Merseyside the day after his then aspect, Derby, had crushed Studying.
He left at 4:30am and as he was strolling to his automobile, he was assaulted by 4 males sporting masks and armed with knives. In addition to having his watch stolen, he was stabbed a number of occasions within the buttocks, left leg, chest and head.
Knowledge wanted 16 stitches in that head wound, however virtually as catastrophic was the damage to his thigh.
“The muscle was virtually hanging out of the wound,” he says. “And I made a rookie mistake as a result of I attempted to push the muscle again in. That’s after I began to go dizzy.”
It was a day that modified Knowledge’s life.
Remarkably, he was again on the pitch three months later, however he was by no means fairly the identical participant. The next July, he discovered himself and not using a membership after leaving Derby – an exile that finally lasted two years earlier than he signed this summer season with Warrington City, who play within the sixth tier of English soccer.
In his first main interview since returning to soccer, Knowledge spoke to Oliver Kay in depth in regards to the traumatic evening he was attacked – and a number of different matters.
You possibly can learn the total interview right here, however if you’re struggling for time, Knowledge additionally mentioned:
- His sense of awe at being signed by Liverpool as a 14-year-old and his recollections of enjoying alongside Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.
- His turbulent spell at Derby, together with getting his new Porsche caught in a ditch, failing to ‘click on’ with supervisor Frank Lampard and the “chaos” that engulfed the membership as they turned gripped by monetary issues. “Folks had been fearful about their jobs and about the way forward for the membership,” he says.
- Why he refused to apologise to his England Below-21 team-mates after being requested to take action by then supervisor Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland.
- Struggling to make ends meet as he didn’t discover a new membership, admitting he had “to cease and have a look at the costs in Tesco and take into consideration whether or not I might afford it”.
- His thrill at now being again in soccer and why he feels “no disgrace in enjoying non-League”.
There may be heaps extra to learn in Oli’s interview, so please do learn the total model right here.
(High picture: Oliver Kay/The Athletic)
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