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Bournemouth signing Chris Mepham reveals Chelsea rejection

Bournemouth signing Chris Mepham has revealed he had a backup option if football hadn't worked out for him.

Mepham was released by Chelsea as a schoolboy and rejected following trials with Watford and QPR.

The 21-year-old was seriously considering other professions, including taking over his uncle's gardening business, until a Brentford scout handed him a lifeline while he was playing for the reserve team of London-based amateur side North Greenford.

“When you've been told by a few teams that you're not good enough, you obviously feel rock bottom," said Mepham. “It (gardening) was definitely something I did consider when football was going downhill and I didn't really see a career in the game.

“My uncle had motor neurone disease, he was a full-time gardener, had his own business.

“When he started getting quite ill and couldn't really do the gardening any more, me and my dad sort of stepped up and took over the business for a while.

“It was definitely an option because if football wasn't going to work out, I would have wanted to do quite a hands-on job, rather than sitting in an office.

“Luckily football has taken a right turn, but it would also have been good to carry on the family business."

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Paul Vegas

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