England national team star reveals how he cried ‘his eyes out’ after Chelsea sent him away at the age of 14

October 13th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

West Ham star Declan Rice has revealed how cried ‘his eyes out’ after Chelsea release at 14.

Even now, the England international does not know for sure why Chelsea dumped him.

In a parallel universe, he is one of four graduates from the Blues’ Academy in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Instead, Rice was released at 14 and forced to take a different route to his old pals Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, The Sun report.

The West Ham midfielder, 20, said: “It was a massive shock. I just broke down, because that was all I’d known since I was eight years old.

“We asked for the reason and they said, ‘You’ve got to come in for a meeting’, which we did book — and then they cancelled.

“So we didn’t actually get to find out the reasons why.”

Rice suspects Chelsea had doubts about him because a growth spurt was playing havoc with his co-ordination.

He said: “I was like Bambi on ice — I was all over the place. My body just wasn’t used to itself, so I wasn’t running properly.”

But there was no time to dwell on the huge setback back then.

Less than four hours after learning Chelsea did not want him, Rice took his first steps on a new path to stardom.

He said: “I got released at like half three, cried my eyes out for about an hour, gutted, didn’t know what to say.

“Then we had a phone call off Dan Rice at Fulham — no relation — and I went and trained at seven.

“After one session they wanted to sign me. That was on the Wednesday.

“Then Dave Hunt from West Ham called my dad.

“My dad then drove me over to Chadwell Heath and I trained with West Ham on the Thursday.

“After two sessions there, they wanted to sign me.

“Then it was pretty much a decision, do I want to stay in Kingston and train at Fulham, five minutes away, or do I go to West Ham and have a new challenge?

“Move away from home, start a new school — and that’s the route I chose. And it hasn’t been a bad one so far.”

His move to the Hammers did not go smoothly at the start, however.

Rice said: “I was homesick. I was thinking about quitting at one point when about 15 or 16.

“I called up my mum. I was really struggling because I was so close to my mum and dad.”

Photo Credit: Twitter @officialwesthamstore.com

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