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Jailed English footballer, 29, reveals fall from grace story is helping wonderkid brother

Jailed English footballer, Paddy Lacey, 29, reveals how his fall from grace story is helping his wonderkid brother at Man Utd.

After a youth career at Sheffield Wednesday, in July 2011, he sign for Bradford City on a one-year deal, and during his time at Bradford he went on to have loan spells at Southport and Vauxhall Motors, having failed to break into first team he left the club.

In July 2016, he joined Accrington Stanley on a one-year deal, making his debut for Stanley in the EFL Cup against Burnley coming off the bench in the 83rd minute for Billy Kee.

He made his league debut for them against Morecambe coming off the bench in the 82nd minute for Shay McCartan. He netted his first goal for Accrington in a 1–0 victory over Portsmouth on the 17th of September 2016.

Lacey’s contract with Accrington was terminated in May 2017 after he admitted a breach of anti-doping regulations. He had been given a 14-month ban by the FA having tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following a game against Hartlepool the previous November.

One month after his contract was terminated, Lacey was arrested at Glastonbury Festival in possession of 20.3 grams of cocaine, 16.8 grams of MDMA, and £520 in counterfeit £20 notes, pleadng guilty to two counts of possessing a controlled substance, and passing as genuine an item which he knew to be a counterfeit. In July 2017 he was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Following his release from prison, on the 14th of January 2019 it was confirmed that Lacey had joined Southport on an 18-month contract.

In January 2020, he joined Stalybridge Celtic. Lacey joined Chester in September 2020. After suffering a knee injury, in February 2021 he raised funds for surgery.

On the 15th of February 2022, it was announced that Lacey had decided to leave Chester in order to take up an offer with an unnamed Northern Premier League club. In February 2022, Lacey signed for Northern Premier League Division One West side Warrington Rylands 1906 on a short-term deal until the end of the 2021–22 season.

He told talkSPORT about how his past has helped his brother with his football career: “Shea is at Man United, just made his debut for England. He’s 15, a real whirlwind, I think. A real Champions League player, I do believe. I think Man United would say that themselves.

“He’s went all over the world playing tournaments against Real Madrid, Barcelona, Ajax and I think he’s had about eight or nine players of the tournaments since the age of 12.

“I know I’m biased because he’s my little brother but he’s very reminiscent of Phil Foden. The [Lionel] Messi shouts just kind of happened on Twitter. I don’t know who called him it first but we kind of jumped on it.

“Messi is his hero, plays quite similar and I’m really hopeful that he’s going to do something because he’s much better than me and his older brother, Luis.”

Lacey adds Shea was there to witness the peak of his career and also watched as it all fell apart due to his behaviour off the pitch.

Paddy revealed: “He was watching me against the likes of Bradford in the FA Cup in front of thousands, against Luton in front of 12,000 – he was there with my dad and Luis watching me.

“Fast forward six months and I’m sitting with a bib on in a prison hall like a k***head and he saw me go from hero to zero. So, he knows if you mess about it can all come undone.

“I thought the way I was playing at Accrington I was going up the football pyramid not down and the family all thought I was going to do well and get to the level I could and should’ve gone to.”

Paddy hasn’t had a conversation with his rising star brothers about staying on the right track given his mistakes are openly discussed in his family.

He concluded: “Shea saw the downfall, but he’s seen me build myself back up through boxing and my business. He’s fully aware, it’s no secret in our house, we talk about it all the time.

“They are conscious of it and they’ve learned plenty of lessons already. They are smart kids. You don’t wanna be anything like that crazy year that I had.

“So, I think it’s actually helped them in their career to see first-hand what can go wrong if you don’t protect yourself as a young lad.”

On the 11t of March, Paddy aims to improve his boxing record to 8-0 at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena – you can get tickets for that by getting in touch with Paddy via his Instagram.

There was support for what Paddy had to say, as the jailed English footballer, 29, reveals how his fall from grace story is helping his wonderkid brother…

@karlledsham87: Great read Paddy. Hope you’re doing well mate x

@BroughtonM7: 👏👏

@fac6bbae041d4a6: Brilliant pad 👍

@simonco16739581: 👏👏 well done

@MUFC_Youth: great read 👏

@neilbretherton: Boss this 👏🏻👏🏻

@jackcross1892: Yes paddy lad 🤠 top brother

@mcrlukemcr: Class read that @paddy_lacey

@BLUENOSEBOB1878: Big brother duties 💙👏

@DaveJBailey13: Good read 👏👏👏

@Liddiman: Top man Paddy 🙌

@scottbrown85: 👌🏼 family full of talent

@Dom14962313: Always see this kid on my twitter line going to be some player 🔥🔥🔥 keep him grounded mate

@Stephen83404769: 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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