Nigeria-born former England forward Carlton Cole has been declared bankrupt despite earning millions over a 16-year career playing in the Premier League and for England.
The 34-year-old was told of the verdict at London’s High Court and hopes his desperate situation can be a warning to young players exposed to the riches of the modern game.
“I hope my story will help young footballers to take responsibility for who they listen to and take advice from,” Cole said.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t realize what was going on until my career was in the latter years and too late for me to turn things around.”
Cole enjoyed a fine career after coming through the ranks at Chelsea, including seven caps for England.
His best spell came at West Ham, with 293 appearances and 68 goals for the Hammers over nine years.