“We are used to being role models”, Dele told The Mirror. “We know that every day we have to live our lives the right way and try and send a positive message and even if we do make mistakes sometimes, I think in the end we just have to try and stay positive and influence things in the right way.”
So Dele knows what a role model is, if not how to act like one yet.
Plenty of footballers make blunders on their way to full maturity, and some never reach it. Dele has made his fair share and some of them recently – people forget this is a 23-year-old kid with a rough upbringing – but this unexpected break from football could have helped him find the right path.
The Tottenham midfielder has teamed up with charity Magic Breakfast to help get school children in lockdown a start to the day that they otherwise couldn’t afford. The charity is said to give 50,000 kids a day the nutrition to fuel their learning and Dele has made a “substantial” donation to the cause.
Dele knows that he and his footballer pals have a role to play, but he also has an appreciation for who the true heroes are in these difficult times.
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“What the NHS is doing is amazing and, as the general public, we can’t thank them all enough for what they are doing and it’s amazing to see,” Dele told The Mirror. “We look at what they are doing and we appreciate the job they are doing and how amazing it is. That’s all we can do.
“We’re in a position where we can influence a lot of people, the younger kids, and with people looking at what we’re doing we have to spread the right message. Everyone is coming together and we have to keep doing what we are doing.
“In England, and the way we’ve all been brought up, knowing all the people you mentioned (Sterling, Rashford, Alexander-Arnold), they are great guys who want to be good people as well as good footballers and I think that’s important in the national team as well.
“I think the main thing is that we are learning is that footballers are human too, we do make mistakes and everyone is vulnerable to the situation and what’s going on.”
Dele. Wanna be a good role model? Be humble not flash. Must be hard though son. Don’t think I would/could be at your age with so much. Try a bit harder dele son. I know you’re a good person deep down. I’d sell you though dele, Would be best for both of us.