Richardson: 'I belong to Jesus'
Former bad boy soccer star Kieran Richardson has told how God saved him from his old lifestyle of fast cars, women and nightclubs.
The Sunderland ace, 27, gave his “testimony” to a 100-strong congregation at a Durham church he visits with lingerie model partner Natalie Suliman.
The star first revealed his new-found faith last year when he unveiled a vest saying: “I belong to Jesus” after scoring against Wolves.
Kieran and Natalie have been going to the Good Word Ministries church for a year.
He revealed to the congregation how he found God after missing out on a place in the 2007 FA Cup final.
The winger scored the winning goal in the semi-final to take Manchester United to Wembley — but was devastated to not make the final squad. After watching his side lose he went out in London’s glitzy West End — and met his partner.
He said: “I wasn’t meant to go out, but I was upset. It was a big changing point.
“I would go out after a game, get drunk, go to nightclubs, meet women. For someone looking from the outside in, you would think I was living a good life. But within myself, I wasn’t happy. My career went off the rails.
“I was thinking more about my social life than football. I was more worried about cars and houses.
“But me going out in the West End was when change happened, when I saw this woman. It was a big changing point.
“After a while I asked her: ‘Do you want to come on holiday to Barbados?’ She said ‘I’ll come to Barbados if you go to church’.”
“My faith is so strong now. Five years ago, I used to just care about clothes, looking good and going out.
“Now I have Jesus Christ in my life and I feel so good within my heart. If I didn’t get picked for a game before, I used to blame the manager but now I think: ‘God doesn’t want me to play’.
“I just want to praise Jesus Christ and go to heaven. That’s all I care about.”