Jamie Lawrence: ‘One minute I’m in jail, the next on TV with Sunderland’

15 December 2018 06:00
The former Premier League winger is stepping back into jails to help prisoners and working with young players ‘to change their whole outlook on life’For a man whose slogan is “Prison to Premiership” it was a tense moment for Jamie Lawrence to find himself outside Brixton prison on a crisp winter’s morning, preparing to go back inside. He was here as a teenager, PN 2991LAWRENCE. He trots out his prison number, thinks about the boy he was then, the circumstances that allowed crime to seem like the easier option. Now 48, he braced himself to step back into his former life hoping he might strike some kind of chord with the prisoners of today. Whatever talks and workshops are on offer to them, not many can look them in the eye and level with them in the way he can.He half smiles as he explains that these days he gets cleared by security. “Normally I was going in the sweat box before I was going in,” he says wryly. “It was nice to go through the gate. I got introduced to the boys. I was nervous as hell. There were 12 prisoners in a little room. I started sharing my story, from being in prison to getting out and turning my life around and playing in the Premiership and for my country. We challenged them with a few things about what they are going to do on release. ‘How can you not reoffend?’ That is so, so important. Related: Drewe Broughton: ‘I can see the fear in footballers’ eyes and relate to them’ They would give me a few Guinness and then mints and chewing gum to mask it, then they would drop me back to prison Related: Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’ I am not a great lover of academies. They set kids up to fail. They sell them a dream Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian