He told the Sunday Mirror: "I have come a long way. I have 24 brothers and sisters, including eight from the same two parents as me - my father was married three times.
"My progress through life has been like nobody else's. I left home to play in Italy aged 17, having never gone through a training academy.
"I played in Serie C for Marsala, in Sicily, a little town where there was just one bar, and I would often find myself in tears.
"I was paid just £100 a month. Even my mum wondered what was going to become of me.
"On my first day in Italy I got lost on their rail network. I ended up being taken in by a Senegalese family who I did not know, and the next morning they put me on the right train."