Adam Johnson: Former Sunderland man fears conviction will prevent desired comeback as agent or coach, claims friend
Adam Johnson is desperate to make a comeback to football as a coach or agent but is worried his conviction will wreck his chances, a friend of his has claimed.
The 31-year-old has recently served a three-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl.
And despite his hopes to put pull his boots on again, a major backlash from fans would stop him resuming his playing career.
While spending time with children would cause a major problem for the ex-Sunderland man to start a coaching role.
Johnson, who has twelve England caps at senior level, has also reportedly raised the idea of becoming a players’ agent and is upset by a future career potentially being in tatters.
A friend of Johnson’s told The Sun: “Adam had his heart set on returning to football. He was so proud to make it to the top of the game and represent his country.
“He has spent a lot of time looking back at the happy times he spent turning out in front of packed Premier League stadiums and playing against the world’s best players for England.
“He has fallen a long way and thought there was a chance he could at least try to climb the football ladder again.
“But the public reaction to his conviction has not escaped him, and he has come to terms with the fact that his actions have cost him his career for good.
“The next best thing was becoming a football coach, so he could at least have a foothold in the game which made his fame and fortune.
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“But his nearest and dearest have pointed out to him that he will struggle to be allowed anywhere near under-age kids.
“As a convicted paedophile it’s impossible.
“Only now has the enormity of his wrongdoing hit home. It might be he becomes a football agent, but he will always carry the stigma of what he did to that teenage girl.”
A spokesman for the former footballer denied the claims.
Johnson is living under strict parole rules and has been subject to curfew since his release in March.
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He is also subject to conditions to see his daughter Ayla, 4, which will last until his full six-year sentence expires in 2022.
He must wait 15 years before he can apply to be taken off the sex offenders’ register.
Johnson was jailed at Bradford crown court in 2016 for grooming, kissing and touching the teenage girl and was released after serving half his sentence.
In a statement, Johnson said that he “would like to take this opportunity to publicly express my remorse for my actions” which “led to my conviction and imprisonment”.
He added: “I am very sorry for the effect my conduct had on those directly and indirectly involved. It should never have happened and I deeply regret what I did.
“I now want to concentrate on the future and want to demonstrate through my actions that I am committed to repaying them for their support.”
Source: SportsLatest TS