Former England man convinced 100 cap star to carry on playing.
Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins has revealed how he managed to persuade Ashley Cole to carry on playing when he wanted to quit amidst a maelstrom of bad press, talkSPORT reports.
The 31-year-old will captain his country in the clash against the Republic of Ireland to commemorate his 100th international cap has been subject of abuse and ridicule throughout his career despite being one of the finest left-backs in the world.
He has been booed while playing for England, and also appeared on the front and back pages of the papers for incidents ranging from cheating on his ex-wife, Cheryl, to shooting a work experience kid at the Chelsea training complex and at one point even considered hanging up his boots because of the abuse.
“On numerous occasions I’m sure he’s felt like turning it in because of the adverse publicity he’s had but the type of guy he is, and the type of guy a lot of these players are who get this adverse publicity, they’re most comfortable on a football field and that’s why they don’t jack it in.
“It got to him to that degree. I remember having one conversation with him where I said, ‘this is ridiculous Ashley, you’ve got so much to give and so many years to give it in. Don’t be doing that [packing in], that’s daft’.
“Hopefully these things will subside one day, but it seems now it will be once he’s retired because if it was going to subside, it would have happened before this evening when he’s going to enjoy one of the best moments of his career.”