Jermaine Pennant is set to feature on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins months after opening up on troubled past that included being abandoned by his mum
- Jermaine Pennant has previously spoken about being abandoned by his mum
- Pennant admitted to binge-drinking and addictions while battling depression
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Jermaine Pennant is set to feature on the upcoming series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins – months after opening up on his troubled past that included being abandoned by his mum.
Pennant, 40, is among the 16 celebrities who have signed up for the latest edition of the show, which begins on Tuesday night.
The former Liverpool and Arsenal star recently opened up on his own childhood trauma following Dele Alli telling his story back in July. Alli revealed his struggles with addiction and abuse as a child in a tell-all interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap.
Pennant has had a troubled life off the pitch. In 2005 he was jailed for three months for drink driving while disqualified after crashing his friend’s Mercedes into a lamppost. After 30 days in prison he was released and his club Birmingham City stood by him, before he became the first player to play in the Premier League with an electronic tag on his ankle.
In January, he was declared bankrupt after accumulating debts of over £1million, according to reports. Birmingham County Court reportedly issued a one-year bankruptcy order to the ex-Premier League star, who owes money to creditors including HMRC, councils, banks and utility companies.
Jermaine Pennant revealed his own traumatic childhood after hearing Dele Alli’s story back in July
The former Liverpool and Arsenal star revealed his mother abandoned him at the age of three
Pennant (left) is among the 16 celebrities to have signed up for the latest series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares wins
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Earlier this year, Pennant admitted to binge-drinking and addictions while battling depression, which was down to his childhood trauma.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, Pennant told his own story of trauma in his youth, with his mother abandoning him as a three-year-old, before his father’s own involvement with drugs saw him become neglected by a second parent.
‘What I’d do, I’d play up,’ Pennant began. ‘Because I had so much trauma and so much darkness inside me that no one never knew
‘I was embarrassed to tell my story, what I went through, where I came from, what I saw.
‘I was abandoned by my mother when I was three, my father had me on weekends and when he took me back and my mum was never there.
‘My father raised me to the best of his abilities and I was around six or seven, he then neglected me.
‘So I would take myself to school, make my own dinners, which was Cornflakes. It got to the point where my mates would call me “The Cornflake Kid”, because that’s all I’d eat.
‘Then my dad got into drugs, people coming in an out of the house, I’d say he was an addict. So I had no mum, no father, surrounded by drugs, guns and crime.’
Pennant’s career would see him play for 15 different clubs, making over 350 league appearances.
Pennant played 24 times for the England Under 21 team and was signed by Arsenal aged 15 before leaving in 2005
Having endured a traumatic childhood, Pennant credits seeking professional help with aiding him turning his prospects around
Pennant (right) is seen boxing with former health secretary Matt Hancock in the first episode
He eventually retired in 2018 after a stint with non-league side Billericay Town, 19 years after first signing for Arsenal.
Having endured a traumatic childhood – which he openly admits has influenced his life as an adult – he credits seeking professional help with aiding him turning his prospects around.
‘I thought I was a loose cannon. That is who I am, I make mistakes, I’m not trustworthy and my life was falling apart,’ he said.
‘Things sometimes just didn’t change. I was going over things and making the same mistakes. I thought, “what am I doing? How many kids would give an arm and a leg to be a professional footballer?”
‘Why do I keep making mistakes? What is wrong with me? Again, I didn’t understand the trauma, I didn’t understand ADHD [Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]. I was only diagnosed last year.
‘I went to a therapist to try get some answers and I did and it has helped amazingly. They did this test with me called an ACE test.
‘They ask you ten questions and the higher you are, the higher risk you are of health risks such as alcoholism, drug use, depression, suicide.
‘I scored nine out of ten, I was like ‘wow’ when they told me and without help, I would have continued to make the same mistakes.’
The popular Channel 4 series is set to hit our TV screens this evening and will run for the next seven weeks.
- Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins begins on Tuesday at 9:30pm on Channel 4
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