Monday September 16 2019
Ogbonna: Lucky to be alive

Angelo Ogbonna admits “I’m lucky to be here” after surviving a road accident 11 years ago but disagrees black players should avoid Italy.

Ogbonna fell asleep at the wheel after a Torino game in December 2008 as he drove his Smart car off a bridge and into a river, and the West Ham United defender assured it had been a life lesson for him.

“I’m lucky to even be here talking to you,” the 31-year-old told The Mirror.

“I was driving to the airport in the middle of the night and I fell asleep.

“I woke up and realised I was the opposite side of the road. It was so quick. I hit the fence and I went down into the water in the river. I’d been on the bridge.

“I was so lucky that someone had been not too far behind me and he said afterwards: ‘I didn’t see your car anymore’.

“He’d seen my car weaving around on the road and maybe he was scared, wondering: ‘What the hell is he doing?’

“Then he didn’t see my car anymore. But he saved me. He looked on the floor when he passed, and he saw one piece of my car.

“That’s when he realised and called the emergency services. I’ve never seen him again. I don’t even know his name!

“Respect life. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Demba Ba recently called on all black players currently plying their trades in Italy to leave the country...

“That’s going too far,” the Italian of Nigerian extract hit back.

“If you put some rules in place it can stop. No more talk. Even in England with the hooligans. As soon as you put rules in place, they stopped.”

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