Retired Jamaica international Marlon King recently expressed regret about a checkered and sordid past but insists he can only face up to it and admit his mistakes.

During his time as a footballer, King had his fair share of headlines on the pitch, but they were routinely dwarfed by legal issues that occurred off it. The former Watford and Birmingham striker has three separate jail sentences and a litany of other offenses, which include theft, criminal damage, fraudulent use of vehicle license document, driving without insurance and drink driving.  But even by those standards, the sexual and physical assault of a young woman who rejected his advances at a nightclub in the Soho area of London was a low point.

The 2009 sexual assault case saw King's playing contract cancelled by then club Wigan, after he was convicted of groping the woman in a bar and then breaking her nose. Since then, the former player has moved to Zambia with his wife and three children and admits he is genuinely remorseful about his past.

“I’m sorry for what happened, especially to the young lady and to my family members for letting them down. But I’m at a point now where I can look back and think, ‘Jesus Christ. Some of the decisions I made’,” King said in an interview with The Athletic
.“I can’t get back what I did. That’s the thing. I can’t go back,” King said.
“Everything I’ve done is public knowledge. I can’t run away from it, so I can’t sit here and say, ‘No, I did this. I did that’. It has taken me years to try and figure myself out and work on myself.

“I cannot change what comes up on Google. I cannot change my path.

King has been eager to point out that these days he is a changed man.
"There’s no justification behind any wrongdoings. But my mental mindset right now could not be further from those incidents and those things. Even up to now, I’m finding speaking about issues that I had is therapeutic for me and I think is something I encourage everyone to do in all walks of life, because it helps.

“If you keep things in emotionally, it just builds up and you explode because everybody’s got a limit that they can take. And we give it the ego, ‘I’m alright, Jack, no, we’re OK’ and I think that’s a lot of what I did. I had a lot of things going on, off the pitch. I can openly say I’m one of those people that needed to talk."
King made 24 appearances and scored 12 goals for Jamaica’s national team. 


 

Jamaica international Rodolph Austin recently admitted he was forced to learn the hard way when it comes to the seriousness of local rivalries in English football.

The hard-nosed central midfielder spent three seasons at the West Yorkshire club Leeds United where he became somewhat of a folk hero for his no-holds-barred brand of play.  The Jamaican, who signed for the club in 2012, was given an education on the nature of English football’s rivalries soon after at a most unlikely place, the car dealership.

"I needed a car and I remember going to a dealership.  I saw a red Audi and I remember saying: 'Wow, this is nice, I'm going to get it!’

Austin told Esbjerg fB, his current club in Denmark.

"I went up to the guy and asked him the price for the red Audi outside and he said: 'You can't get it.' So I said: 'I have the money, why can't I get it?”

"He said: 'When you play for Leeds, you can't drive anything red, you can't have anything to do with anything red.' I was like: 'Why?'

"He said: 'You cannot have anything to do with red because of the rivalry between Manchester United and Leeds is so big so no-one can wear red or have anything to do with red.'

"I didn't even know the guy was a Leeds fan and it just shows you the rivalry so strongly and I had to end up buying a white car."

Austin made more than 100 appearances for the Elland Road club, even winning the club’s goal of the season award in the 2014-2015 season.  He left England for Denmark after failing to secure a work permit in 2015.  The 34-year-old has made 84 appearances for the Jamaica national team.  The player has served as captain for both Leeds and his national team.

 

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