Mings says he 'understands the real world' and frustration of fans

‘I feel I can empathise with football fans and put myself in their shoes’: Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings says he ‘understands the real world’ and frustration of supporters during coronavirus crisis and hails Jordan Henderson for ‘Players Together’ effort

  • Tyrone Mings says his previous life as a mortgage adviser gives him perspective
  • Mings says his experiences mean he can talk to and understand the average fan
  • The defender says everyone in football has ‘moral conscience’ to help in crisis 
  • Mings has revealed his role in ‘Players Together’ and Aston Villa’s donations
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings says his previous life as a mortgage adviser means he can understand the fears and frustrations of fans during the coronavirus crisis. 

Mings’ path to the Premier League was a long and winding one, as he worked his way up from semi-professional to the top of the football pyramid. 

During his time lower down the football ladder, the centre-back had to work full-time as a mortgage adviser to make ends meet and fund his football dreams. 

Tyrone Mings says his former life as a mortgage adviser means he understands football fans

Mings says he understands fears and frustrations of fans because of experience in a 9-5 job 

The defender has also hailed his Aston Villa team-mates for their donations towards the NHS

Mings says that experience was a valuable one and has given him a more rounded outlook away from the cosseted world of top flight academies.

‘I feel really fortunate to have been able to see football as a football fan and as a player,’ he told Sky Sports. I feel I can empathise with football fans and put myself in their shoes. 

‘I have seen it from the outside and wondered what it is like inside that football bubble. I would hate to have come through an academy and not seen what the real world looks like. It is massively important. It makes you a more rounded footballer and person.’ 

Mings combined semi-pro football with a full-time job before joining Ipswich Town in 2012

He has since gone on to play for Bournemouth and Villa and won his first England cap in 2019

With the Premier League season suspended for the foreseeable future as a result of the global health crisis, Mings has been putting his spare time to good use. 

The 27-year-old is doing his bit to support the NHS by offering free entry to his football academy in Bristol for the children of healthcare workers. 

Mings has also played a key role in the ‘Players Together’ initiative launched by Premier League players last week, which will see them provide funds for the health service in the UK.    

He said: ‘At Villa, myself and Tom Heaton have led discussions, if players want to donate, it is voluntary and then the logistics and mechanics (i.e. tax) that are involved. 

Mings has offered free entry to his football academy to children of NHS workers during crisis 

The 27-year-old says it’s now time for wealthy individuals in other sectors to do their bit

‘The overriding feeling was that everybody wanted to help and I was proud of everyone involved at Villa. We felt we could contribute and donate and make a difference.’

Mings has been buoyed by the collective effort of Premier League players in putting their considerable wealth towards a good cause. 

But the England international admits he’s been disappointed by criticism aimed at players and says other wealthy sectors of society also need to do their bit.

‘I think it is a fantastic initiative that Jordan Henderson and the captains set about creating. Everyone in football has a moral conscience and we can give back, either as role models or in financial donations.

‘Players came in for a lot of criticism but amid a crisis, this is not a time for finger pointing. What about other well off people? What about those who exploit tax loopholes? If you can come out of this, look in the mirror, and know you’ve played your part.’ 

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