Signed by Everton for £2m at 15, now fighting back after career derailed by drugs and alcohol – The Athletic

On those bitingly cold Yorkshire mornings, when his alarm trills at 5.30am and all is dark outside, George Green could be forgiven for wondering what might have been.

Perhaps before setting off to his day job fitting concrete panels on buildings — “long, hard, messy graft” — he might even feel sorry for himself.

After all, in another life he would be rolling out of bed a few hours later, into his luxury car and heading to Finch Farm to train with the other millionaire footballers at Everton.

It’s enough to make anyone ponder the what-ifs. But, just like when he was at Everton, for better or worse George Green isn’t like everyone else.

The boy who joined the Premier League club for £2 million as a 15-year-old; feted as as a Goodison coup with Tottenham and other big clubs fighting for his signature, has told the sad story of what happened next before.

Too much, too soon. Drink, drugs, depression and a life spiralling out of control to the point he considered ending it one afternoon while standing on a train platform in Dewsbury. He didn’t. Life continued.

But what happens after that? After the narrative has moved on. How does a young man compartmentalise the “failed prodigy” story that seems to define him and move forward with his life, still burning with a dream, intact after all these years of setbacks and self-sabotage?

“I still believe I’ll get another chance,” he tells The Athletic during a morning break from his day job on a site in Leeds, with clanging and drilling a soundtrack to our conversation. “I’m still hungry. I hope it’s just a matter of when, not if.

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