England and Aston Villa striker, Darren Bent recently revealed that his faith in God helped him deal with his Euro 2012 injury heartache and other career and personal setbacks.
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The former Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham and Sunderland player missed out on Euro 2012 after an ankle ligament injury.
The Tooting-born star recovered in mid May, but England Manager, Roy Hodgson, felt that the 28 year-old wouldn’t be fit enough to last a major tournament.
Writing on Aston Villa’s website, Bent said: ‘I’ve been through some hard times here at Villa and at Spurs, and missing out on major tournaments with England too. It has been difficult, but I’m a believer that good things come to those who wait and I believe If I am patient and I have faith then more good things will happen to me in my life and career.’
Bent is no stranger to controversy. In 2004 he received a formal police warning after allegedly shooting a 12 year-old with a pellet gun. Since his 2001 professional debut, he’s attracted the wrath of Sunderland fans due to the nature of his departure from the club, and been forced to apologise to Villa fans when he was snapped by a fan out shopping during a when he’d been sent home to recover from an injury.
Capped 13 times by England, Bent came to Christianity through his grandmother. ‘My grandma got me into religion because she used to carry me to Church every Sunday,’ Bent recalls. ‘I read the Bible every day before I get up. You’ve got to have faith!’
It is a personal choice... I have got my faith and it is important to me."
Taking his Bible everywhere he goes, and going to church whenever he can, Bent’s more than happy to help the church: ‘Although it can be hard with Sunday games, whenever my Grandma needs me to do something for the church - to go along to an event or sign something - then I’m more than happy to do that.’
Teetotaller Bent is in no doubt that he and his family get their strength from their faith: ‘It’s always been a support for me. I know in my household and with my family it’s a big part of our lives and what we do.’
His teammates are respectful of his beliefs too. ‘I don’t get any stick for my faith in the dressing room,’ comments Darren, ‘I think the lads realize it is a personal choice of mine, and they respect that. A lot of footballers have now got tattoos with hands praying and stuff like that, which can be a bit clichéd, but I have got my faith and it is important to me.’
November 1st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Hefin Rhys Jones