Page 32 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine I

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the i nt e r v i ew
Despite being one of Eastlands’ highest value transfers of recent years,
the father of two is refreshingly down to earth, a genuine family
man and is incredibly passionate about his craft - claiming he would
“honestly play for nothing”.
“I’m so passionate about football and the Premier League - I’m not just
a football player, I still feel like I’m a fan.”
Perhaps this surprisingly grounded mindset is due in part to Joleon’s
upbringing and some humbling life experiences. He recalls the
severe car accident which nearly took his life aged five and bares a
permanent reminder on his forehead today:
“I count myself very lucky as it was a very serious accident.”
“I was judged and teased at school because of the scars from the accident
but it taught me to not to be in that bracket where people judge each
other based on their faults. As much as it hurt at the time, I learned to
focus on the ways in which I am blessed.”
And the self-acclaimed
“mummy’s boy”
certainly did just that. After
writing a letter to Derby County when he was 15, Joleon was snapped
up by the team fresh out of secondary school. “There was no real
question of going to do a ‘9 to 5’ - it just wasn’t for me. As far as I was
concerned, football was the only option.”
Unlike most transfers, which are usually a decision kept under tight
wraps by the suited and booted, it was Joleon’s mum who oversaw
the first transfer agreement of his glistening football career and the
passionate youngster soon moved to his home teamWolverhampton
Wanderers FC so that he could be closer to his family.
After several seasons playing for Everton, the defender had really
made a name for himself and following a phenomenal injection of
money into Manchester City by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, the
rising Blues signed him up for £22 million. “I count myself so lucky
for being one of Manchester City’s ‘chosen ones’.”
But despite his successes, Joleon is certainly no Premiership playboy.
His fiancé Debbie has remained his front-line support from the very
start - well before the former Wolves player had experienced even a
whiff of the shimmering life of a professional footballer.
The couple plan to marry next June and Debbie is revelling in the
opportunity to create the big OK! magazine wedding.
“There will be a few of the Everton and Wolves lot there as well as
current team mates. Although I don’t think we’ll be inviting Mancini as
having him there watching us get drunk wouldn’t be fair on the boys!”
Joleon may do very well at putting himself across as an ‘every day
lad’ but he certainly doesn’t look like your average 30-something
Brummie. The towering sportsman is effortlessly stylish and you only
need catch a glimmer of his uber chic Audemars Piguet
watch to appreciate that Joleon has got fashion nous. And with a
knock out fiancé, two indisputably gorgeous children, a stunning
family home and as a first team player of arguably the fastest growing
club in the Premiership; Joleon Lescott certainly has it all.