Former England star Kenny Sansom admits he's 'homeless, a drunk and sleeping on a park bench'

Shocking admission by former Arsenal player is down to his on-going issues with alcohol and gambling causing his family to fear for his life

Former England star Kenny Sansom has made an astonishing admission that he is homeless, admitting that problems with alcohol and gambling are to blame.

Sansom, who in his days at Arsenal earned £1,200-a-week and lived in a £1m mansion, has confirmed that he is now living rough on a park bench, causing his family to fear for his life on a regular basis.

Speaking to The Sun during a brief stay at his sister’s home, Sansom admitted: “I've been living homeless for 10 days.

“That's because I've got no money, I'm a drunk, I'm feeling not very well and I'm a gambler. I've been living on the street. It's not good living on the bench.

Sansom earned 86 caps for England – the second-most achieved by a defender behind Ashley Cole – but he has sold most of those to fund his descent into alcoholism.

The newspaper claims that he has been drinking seven bottles of rose wine each day, and that his only possessions left are a pay-as-you-go phone, a travel card and a £20 note, as well as the T-shirt and shorts on his back.

The ex-footballer expressed in his 2008 biography ‘To Cap It All…My Story’ that even during his playing days he was struggling with the twin demons of both alcohol and gambling, claiming to be in a betting shop nearly every day, while spending most afternoons in the pub playing snooker that earned him the nickname “Mr Chablis”.

He spoke publicly for the first time about his troubles in 2011, but he was found earlier this year collapsed close to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, and was admitted to hospital which triggered his rapid fall from grace.

His elder sister, Mary, has confessed her heart-break over his downfall, and he went missing shortly after the interview.

“He is breaking my heart. I wish he would just tell us where he is,” she said.

“On Fathers’ Day we found him crying in the kitchen because none of his kids had sent him anything. Underneath all this he is such a nice person. But he can’t get his act together.”

Sansom’s former manager at Arsenal George Graham admitted his surprise at the news, and claimed that he should get in touch with the Professional Footballers' Association, who he said could help him with what he is going through.

“He was a fantastic player under me when I was manager of Arsenal and he has over 80 caps for England,” said Graham.

“He was a model professional and it is very, very sad to hear that news. I am really surprised. I haven’t heard from Kenny for quite a while. I think the last time I saw him was on Sky television, working away. So it comes as big surprise.

“I think he should get in touch with the PFA because they are usually very supportive when players get into problems like Kenny obviously has. I am sure that Gordon Taylor, like he has with many players in the past, will be very willing to help Kenny.

“It seems some people can handle success and some people can’t. Tony Adams is connected with the Sporting Chance clinic that helps ex-professionals. If I was Kenny I would get in touch with these people who I am sure will help him get out of the difficulties he finds himself in at present.

“I am sure there will be a lot of people, myself included, who would be willing to help him. But I think he has got to contact these bodies first, the PFA and the other bodies that run football who I am sure would be only too pleased to help him.”

His sister summed up the feeling of his family after his latest disappearance, saying: “We’re worried we’re going to find him dead in the street somewhere.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor