Monday, 11 January 2016

Dele Alli, Born To A Nigerian Father. Given Away At 13. Now England's Rising Star. Mum Speaks Out

My boy . . . mum Denise holds a picture of Dele aged four
Mum holds pics of Dele at age four

The mother of Dele Alli, the rising England star has spoken about the heart breaking moment she gave her Dele away so he could fulfil his dream of becoming a top footballer.
Denise Alli, 52, was battling against alcoholism and faced having her children removed by Social Services. So she handed Dele over to a couple who the footballer now calls his adoptive parents.
Now mum-of-four Denise says every time she watches 19-year-old Spurs ace Dele scoring for his club and country, she knows she made the right decision. Fans have never before heard the truth about how Dele got to where he is today.

Fighting back tears, Denise told The Sun on Sunday: “I had to let him go to give him a better future. “Emotionally, it was heart breaking but it was the right thing to do. “I had a serious drink problem triggered by my unhappy childhood. “I was hooked on vodka, beer — anything — for a few years. “Social Services visited me after complaints from my neighbours about how I was raising my   children but my kids were never taken away. 

“It was my decision to let Dele live with another family.
“I knew that was the only way he could fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer. “It was tough to give up my son but it proved to be his salvation. I’m so thankful for how things have turned out.” Denise will be glued to the TV when Tottenham take on Leicester City at White Hart Lane in the third round of the FA Cup today.

New family . . . the Spurs midfielder with adoptive dad Alan
Dele's with his adoptive Dad... Alan

He signed for Spurs for £5million last February and got his first start for England in November when the Three Lions took on France. Dele was an immediate hit during the poignant game following the Paris terror attacks and scored from outside the box to break the deadlock at Wembley. England won 2-0. His mum said: “When he scored the goal against France I leapt out of my seat — I was so happy. “My son has made it by himself. I am so pleased for him and super-proud of everything he has achieved.” He is expected to be in the England squad for Euro 2016 this summer.

Last week, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino talked about the player after his equaliser helped earn a 1-1 draw with Everton, saying he had “fantastic maturity”. Few expected Dele to make the first team when he started pre- season training with Spurs.
But he wowed fans when he nut-megged Real Madrid star Luka Modric during a game in August and scored the equaliser against Leicester City two weeks into the season. It helped him become a first-team regular and Spurs are set to double Dele’s wages to £20,000 a week.

Proud father . . . with natural dad Kenny
Dele and his natural Dad Kenny
That could rise to £50,000 or more by next season to ward off interest from Real Madrid and others. That makes the £5million Tottenham paid MK Dons — Dele’s boyhood club — the bargain of last season. He came through the ranks at MK Dons after joining aged 11 and before that played for local team City Colts.

Dele, who also showed promise as a talented rugby player, was born Bamidele Jermaine Alli to Denise and Nigerian dad Kenny. They married at Bletchley Register Office in Bucks just before his birth in April 1996 but parted a week later. Businessman Kenny, 46, moved to Texas where he now lives with new wife Lola.

Denise also raised son Lewis, 12, daughters Becky, 23, and Barbara, 26, who all stayed with her. She said: “Times were difficult — very tough. I had four children by four different dads but none of the relationships lasted. I was a single mum. We were living in Milton Keynes in a three-bedroom council house but it was a bit rough.

Promise . . . future star with football trophies
Rising Star with his football trophies

“Me and Dele were always very close when he was younger. He was my little cling-on. He’d always say, ‘Kiss me’. He loved football and started kicking a ball around as soon as he could walk.“I could see he had talent and I would take him to the park as much as I could.

“He always wanted to be a footballer since he was a little boy and dreamed of playing for Barcelona.”At the age of five, Dele spent six months living with his dad in Nigeria but the move did not work out and he returned to England.

As he grew up, his mum’s problems started to multiply and at same time he began to get into trouble at school she was reported to Social Services. Denise said: “It was only one visit and Social Services were just doing their job. A handful of girls who had it in for me called the council — I don’t know why. I always looked after my children.”

Yet by the time Dele was 13, Denise began to worry he was about to fall in with gangs that were plaguing the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes where they lived. She agreed he could move six miles away to live with close pal and fellow footballer Harry Hickford, now 20, and his parents, building company boss Alan and his wife Sally.

Wembley win . . . Dele celebrates his England goal against France
Dele celebrates his England goal against France

While Denise insists he was never formally adopted, she let her son live full-time with the Hickfords and their two children in the more affluent area of Cosgrove. Denise said: “All the kids Dele’s age were on the streets smoking, arguing and robbing. Some ended up in prison. I was worried my son would be tempted by that hood life. “He was challenging at times, like most lads. He had to change secondary school and never settled at his first school.

“The Hickfords weren’t my friends but they had a nice home and I knew I had to give my son this chance to move on with his life and succeed. “When he left, there were no tears, just a sense of relief because I knew he would be off the streets and safe.

“Dele told me, ‘I’m fine Mum. Don’t worry about me.’ He hugged me. “It was tough but he was happy and I was happy. “Despite giving him away I have never been estranged from Dele.
“He would come back to my place for a sleepover about once every month. He is also close to his biological dad.. Kenny is so proud of him.” Denise is no longer in contact with her son’s adoptive mum Sally and has yet to see him play in person. The midfielder’s adoptive dad Alan runs Dele Alli Promotions, so stands to make a fortune.

Born sportsman . . . Dele (bottom centre) poses with medal in 2009
Dele (Bottom Centre) poses with medal 2009

Denise admitted: “Perhaps deep down I felt some resentment towards Sally for bringing up my son. “I’m still close to Dele. He’s helped me and his sisters financially and has lots of love to give. He’s a great son. “He’s probably given us £4,000 over the past year or so.

“I got £600 this Christmas and the three children £500 each. Last year he gave me £200, the girls £80 each and his brother a TV and Xbox. “He gave me £170 for Mother’s Day and helps me out with £50 here and there towards bills. I’d never ask him for a penny. He just offers to sort us out.

“He never discusses his salary but I heard it was £25,000 a week. Good on him.” Speaking from his Houston home, Kenny said: “We have always had a good relationship and I’m his dad.

“I saw Dele during my trip to England last year and we often text and chat on the phone. I’m very proud of my son.” Sally Hickford said : “We are so proud of Dele and want to let him enjoy his football. “Dele lived with our family but, no, we never formally adopted him. We want to keep everything private.”

Lucky lad, who has made something for himself. Who takes the glory? Mum for giving him away to pursue his football career or Adoptive parents or Both?