More often than not many footballers get opportunities to change the lives of their families through having successful careers in the beautiful game.
The story of South African midfielder Keanin Ayer is one of the most touching stories to have ever been told. The player grew up in a community where gangsterism is so rife – Eldorado Park, where children grow up with the trauma of seeing people killed right before their eyes.
A very miraculous story of resilience and with football playing a big part in providing a platform for players to use their talent to better their lives, Ayer was one of those fortunate players.
Speaking to Swedish sport documentary channel Dplay Sport, Ayer opens up about his life before football gave him a lifeline. Eldorado Park is a space that children get exposed to horrors from a very young age and Ayer feels football saved his life.
“Football was my life saver, it was the thing that can take me out of all of the struggles. I’ve seen people killing each other in the community and stabbing each other, it’s just a really dangerous environment. I used to cry a lot, that’s how I used to communicate with other people through crying – I didn’t believe dreams come through at the time, but now I do,” said Ayer.
Ayer is one of the best midfielders in Sweden and he was recently rated amongst the best in the league. Getting out of such a community the Varbergs anchor wishes to one day be able to give back to his family who have supported him throughout the journey.
“The goal now for me is to help them get out of the environment, I got the chance to change my life so now I just want to help my family change their lives. I told her (his mother) that one day I will buy her a house and she would just smile because she is really happy – I also smile because I’m happy when she is happy,” concluded Ayer.
The Right To Dream (RTD) graduate has played 19 league games so far this season in the Allsvenskan for Varbergs BoIS who have recently gotten promoted to the top flight this season and currently sit 12th on the log. Since joining the club in 2018 Ayer has played a total of 56 league games despite only turning 20 in April of this year.
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By Prince Sobayeni