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Footballer Dele Alli Claims He Was Molested By His Mother’s Friend at Six Years Old and Admits He Was Smoking and Dealing Drugs From a Young Age


Footballer Dele Alli has revealed he was molested by his mother’s friend at six years old and admits he was smoking and dealing drugs from a young age. 

In an emotional interview with former England footballer Gary Neville, Alli:

  • Revealed he spent six weeks in rehab in the United States this summer to help him with a sleeping pill addiction
  • Opened up on childhood trauma of how he was molested by his biological mum’s friend aged six
  • Admitted he started smoking when he was seven and dealing drugs when he was just eight
  • Revealed he was hung off a bridge by a man from his local area as a child
Footballer Dele Alli claims he was molested by his mother
  • Says he feels betrayed by his biological parents and has no interest in a relationship with either of them
  • Admitted he seriously contemplated retiring from football at just 24
  • Hailed Mauricio Pochettino has the ‘best’ manager he’s ever played for and shunned others because they were ‘fake’
  • Revealed Jose Mourinho apologised for calling him ‘f***ing lazy’ but it never made it into Tottenham’s Amazon Prime documentary
  • Praised Everton manager Sean Dyche’s ‘understanding’ in recent months and is aiming for ‘a big season’ for the Toffees.

Discussing his addiction, he said: ‘I got addicted to sleeping tablets, it’s a problem not only I have. It’s going around more than people realise in football.

Footballer Dele Alli claims he was molested by his mother

‘Now is probably the right time to tell people. It’s tough to talk about it as it’s quite recent and something I’ve hid for a long time and I’m scared to talk about.

‘When I came back from Turkey (following a loan spell at Besiktas) I came back and found out I needed an operation.

‘I was in a bad place mentally. I decided to go to a modern rehab facility that deals with addiction and mental health and trauma. I felt it was time for me.

‘You can’t be told to go there, you have to make the decision yourself.

‘I was in a bad cycle. I was relying on things that were doing me harm. I was waking up every day, winning the fight going into training every day smiling – willing to show I was happy.

‘Inside I was losing the battle and it was time to change. When I was told I needed surgery I could feel the feelings I had when the cycle began.

‘So I went there for six weeks. Everton were amazing and supported I will be grateful to them for ever. For them to be so honest and understanding I couldn’t ask for anything more during a time I was making the biggest decision of my life – doing something I was scared to do. I’m happy I’ve done it.’

The player also discussed ‘the stigma’ around rehabilitation facilities, saying: ‘Going into rehab is scary but I could never have imagined how much I would get from it.

‘I was in a bad place. A lot happened to me when I was younger that I couldn’t understand and I was doing stupid things that I blame myself for.

‘Going there and learning about it, it was never really under my control.

‘Understanding learning it has helped. I let go of some bad feelings I was holding which was slowing me down.’

Alli shared harrowing details of his traumatic childhood, including an incident that saw him molested by a friend of his biological mother’s. 

‘(My childhood is) something I haven’t really spoken about that much, to be honest. I mean, I think there were a few incidents that could give you kind of a brief understanding,’ Alli continued. 

‘So, at six, I was molested by my mum’s friend, who was at the house a lot. My mum was an alcoholic, and that happened at six. I was sent to Africa to learn discipline, and then I was sent back. 

‘At seven, I started smoking, eight I started dealing drugs. An older person told me that they wouldn’t stop a kid on a bike, so I rode around with my football, and then underneath I’d have the drugs, that was eight. Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate, a man.’

But Alli shared that his life turned around in sensational fashion when he was adopted by Alan and Sally Hickford. 

He is extremely close with his family and is currently managed by his brother, Harry.  

‘Twelve, I was adopted – and from then, it was like – I was adopted by an amazing family like I said, I couldn’t have asked for better people to do what they’d done for me. If God created people, it was them. 

‘They were amazing, and they’ve helped me a lot, and that was another thing, you know – when I started living with them, it was hard for me to really open up to them, because I felt within myself, it was easy to get rid of me again. I tried to be the best kid I could be for them. I stayed with them from 12, and then started playing first-team, professionally, at 16. It all sort of took off from there.’ 

In rehab, Alli shared, he was taught to consider his childhood in a different light. 

‘They taught me in rehab, I’m not allowed to say I was a bad kid but I got in trouble a lot, you know, with the police. I had no rules, I grew up without any rules. Like I said, my mum she drank a lot and I don’t blame her at all for what happened. 

‘I think going to [rehab] really helped me understand her and the things she was going through and what she had to deal with, and it was all she knew.

‘Me going into rehab now has helped me understand her – it was all she knew. Like, even when she let me go and I got adopted, she knew and I knew that it was what was needed to even have a chance of living the life I wanted to live and be successful. And because it was only going one way if I stayed there.’

The impact of his difficult childhood led to feelings of betrayal in the player, and Alli stated that he has no interest in a relationship with either his biological mother or father. 

‘I don’t speak to my mum anymore,’ Alli added. ‘So, when I was 18, my biological mum and dad went to the newspaper and like, started accusing the family that adopted me of doing all this stuff when they didn’t know what they had, like they were the ones that used to make me go and see my mum. I never wanted to go. 

‘They would always tell me, ‘She’s your mum, like you should have a relationship with her’. And I think that spoke volumes, like what they were doing. They were just doing it generally because they’re amazing people. So yeah.

‘And then my mum – my blood mum and dad – went to the press saying that these people are taking advantage of me. They want to go through my contracts. And I hadn’t spoken to him for years. And I knew that wasn’t my mum’s decision because I know she didn’t really leave Milton Keynes. Like there was no way she’d done that. 

‘After that, I just felt so betrayed and let down. And hurt that I just couldn’t keep the relationship with my mum. And my dad, I don’t want a relationship with him either.’

Alli stressed that Everton manager Dyche had been extremely supportive of him in their conversations about his future at Goodison Park. 

‘Me and (Dyche) have had some good conversations, not so much about football at this point because obviously I’m still injured, but about where I’m at,’ Alli said. ‘And I’d like to say a big thanks to him as well – I think for someone that didn’t really know me, for this to be thrown on him and to be so understanding and not even just understanding, we had a good conversation and, like I said, he was supportive.

‘Right now, it’s just about getting back on the pitch and showing him what I can do, and the talks were more about what I’ve done in terms of the rehab and how I’m feeling, which is a normal question for people to have, I think. So yeah, a lot of the talks so far have been about that, and then, yeah, I just need to get back fit which isn’t too long away.

‘I’m feeling good in that sense, probably another few weeks (away from returning from injury) and then get back playing and enjoying football which is what I want to do. So, I’m ready for a big season and I’m more prepared to deal with any challenge that comes with it.’

Above all, Alli shared, he hopes that the conversation about his own journey will in turn help others to ask for help, be vulnerable with those close to them, and feel inspired to change their lives. 

‘I want to reiterate the fact that people don’t need to fear change. I think change is always hard, when something’s uncomfortable and difficult, you get a feeling, you get scared, you get the fear. 

‘But when you have that feeling, that’s the exact time when you have to jump and go for it because at the other side of fear and change is usually only positives things. And hopefully, me talking about my experiences is helpful to them so.’ 

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