Everton’s Dele Alli, who at times has been treated as a bad boy of English football, made a shocking revelation about his past to Gary Neville. Alli revealed that he was sexually abused by a friend of his mother when he was six years old.

The shocking revelation comes in an interview on The Overlap, “When I was six, I was molested by mum’s friend… because my mum was an alcoholic. That happened at six.” After making the statement Alli broke down in tears as Neville comforted him.

Alli’s biological mother was an alcoholic, later the Everton star would be adopted by another family and Alli credits them for turning his life around as Alli also confessed he began to sell drugs as early as 8 years old.

Dele Alli on rough childhood

“And then I was sent to Africa to learn discipline and then I was sent back. At seven I started smoking and then at eight I started selling drugs. An older person told me they wouldn’t stop a kid on a bike, so I’d ride around with my football and underneath I’d have drugs.

“At 11 I was hung off a bridge… by a guy from the next estate. A man. By 12 I was adopted but from then it was like I was adopted by an amazing family. I couldn’t have asked for better people to do what they done for me. If God created people, it was them – they were amazing and have helped me a lot. When I was living with them it was hard for me to open up to them because I felt like it was easy for them to get rid of me.”

Alli’s confession is a brutal reminder that even topflight soccer players and athletes at times do not come from a world full of glamor. Legendary boxer Mike Tyson has made similar confessions about his early life before finding boxing.

At 27 and back at Everton Alli hopes to return to his English national team form which saw him win 13 caps for the Three Lions.