Dele Alli bravely opens up on being molested as a child as Everton midfielder reveals he dealt drugs at eight years old & was hung off a bridge by a man when he was 11

Dele Alli Besiktas 2022-23
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Dele Alli has given a shocking and revealing interview to Gary Neville in which he detailed his difficult upbringing and his struggles with addiction.

The Everton midfielder and former England international revealed he was molested as a child by one of his biological mother's friends and that he was hung off a bridge by someone from his local area.

"I haven't really spoken about that much, to be honest. I mean, I think there were a few incidents that could give you kind of a brief understanding," he told Neville on his Youtube channel The Overlap

"So, at six, I was molested by my mum's friend, who was at the house a lot. My mum was an alcoholic, and that happened at six. I was sent to Africa to learn discipline, and then I was sent back."

Alli rose to fame as one of Tottenham's best players in their unlikely Premier League title charge in the 2015-16 season and was one of England's stars in their run to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup.

His career began to decline in 2019 when Jose Mourinho was his manager at Tottenham and he struggled to get back on track when he signed by Everton in February 2022. He had an unsuccessful loan spell in Turkey with Besiktas last season and spent six weeks in a rehab clinic in the United States, coming out of the facility in June.

Dele revealed that throughout his career he had been dealing with the trauma of his upbringing. He said he began dealing drugs when he was eight years old and was exploited by gangs as police would never suspect and search a child.

"At seven, I started smoking, eight I started dealing drugs," he said. "An older person told me that they wouldn't stop a kid on a bike, so I rode around with my football, and then underneath I'd have the drugs, that was eight. Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate, a man."

Dele explained his biological mother was an alcoholic and he was sent to live with his father in Africa and behaved badly on purpose in order to be sent home.

He went back to England after a year. At the age of 12 his mother realised the best thing was for him to be given up for adoption, and Dele said his adopted family changed his life.

"I was adopted by an amazing family, I couldn't have asked for better people to do what they'd done for me. If God created people, it was them," he said.

"They were amazing, and they've helped me a lot, and that was another thing, you know – when I started living with them, it was hard for me to really open up to them, because I felt within myself, it was easy to get rid of me again.

"I tried to be the best kid I could be for them. I stayed with them from 12, and then started playing first-team, professionally, at 16. It all sort of took off from there."