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Dele Alli, Everton midfielder, overcomes abuse and drug dealing

 Dele Alli, Everton midfielder opens up abuse and drug dealing

Dele Alli, Everton midfielder opens up abuse and drug dealing
Dele Alli, Everton midfielder opens up abuse and drug dealing(Image-Getty)

Everton midfielder Dele Alli has shared his challenging journey, revealing a difficult past that involved childhood sexual abuse and involvement in drug dealing. However, he has now found solace and a fresh start with a caring adoptive family who helped him turn his life around.

During an interview on The Overlap with Gary Neville, the former England international opened up about his recent completion of a six-week rehabilitation program, addressing his dependence on sleeping pills.

After spending seven years at Tottenham Hotspur, Alli joined Everton in February of the previous year, signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with the aim of revitalizing his career. He later embarked on a loan spell with Turkish club Besiktas for the 2022-23 season and successfully completed his rehabilitation last month.

Alli, now 27 years old, explained, "I was unaware of the issue's presence for a significant period of time. I resorted to sleeping pills to numb the emotions I was experiencing, oblivious to their actual purpose. I definitely abused them excessively, and it became alarmingly severe at times. However, I failed to grasp the full extent of the problem. Instead of seeking help for the root causes of my struggles, I attempted to handle everything on my own. Consequently, I lost my way for a few years."

Born in Milton Keynes, England, to an English mother and a Nigerian father who left soon after his birth, Alli endured a tumultuous upbringing. At the age of 13, he found stability and a loving home with Alan and Sally Hickford, who adopted him.

During the interview, Alli emotionally recounted his troubled childhood, including suffering sexual abuse at the age of six and becoming involved in drug dealing by the time he was eight.

"At the age of six, I experienced molestation. As a result, I was sent to Africa in an attempt to instill discipline. However, I eventually returned to England where, at the age of seven, I started smoking. By the age of eight, I had begun dealing drugs," he disclosed.

"At eleven, I endured a traumatic incident where a person from the neighboring estate hung me off a bridge.

"Fortunately, at twelve, I was blessed to be adopted by an incredible family. I couldn't have asked for better individuals to provide the care and support they have shown me."

Everton has expressed unwavering support for Alli, emphasizing their assistance in his physical recovery and addressing the personal challenges he bravely shared in the interview.

"The club has been fully supportive of Dele, assisting him in his rehabilitation and helping him overcome the personal difficulties he openly discussed in his interview," the statement read.

"Everyone at Everton holds Dele in high regard and commends his courage in speaking about the hardships he has faced while seeking the necessary help."

Currently recovering from an injury, Alli, who won the PFA Young Player of the Year award twice during his time at Tottenham, looks forward to returning to action for Everton next season under the management of Sean Dyche.

"In terms of my physical condition, I'm feeling positive. It will take a few more weeks for me to fully recover from my injury and get back to playing football, which is what I'm eager to do," he expressed.

"I am prepared for an impactful season and equipped to face any challenges that come my way."

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