Eric Dier regrets he didn't do more to help 'special person' Dele Alli

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Eric Dier regrets he didn't do more to help 'special person' Dele Alli
Photo: PA

Eric Dier has admitted he wished he could have done more for ex-Tottenham Hotspur teammate Dele Alli after learning of his shocking upbringing.

Last year, Alli made a series of heartbreaking revelations while chatting with Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast.

It's not something I have spoken about that much but there were a few incidents that give you an understanding.

At six I was molested by my mum's friend who was at the house at lot. My mum was an alcoholic. That happened at six.

I was sent to Africa to learn discipline and then I was sent back. Seven, I started smoking, eight I started dealing drugs. An older person told me that they wouldn't stop a kid on a bike, so I rode around with my football, and then underneath I'd have the drugs - that was eight.

Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate, a man. Twelve, I was adopted - and from then, I was adopted by an amazing family. I couldn't have asked for better people to do what they'd done for me. If God created people, it was them.

Dele Alli's Remarkable Odyssey From Nigeria To England: A Journey That Transcends The Boundaries Of Sport And Exploring The Intricate Layers Of His Life
Now himself appearing on The Overlap, Dier has opened up on how he felt after watching the Alli interview.

It's difficult for me to talk about Dele. I speak to him all the time, every week, obviously it was just very difficult to watch.

I don't know if I've ever seen the whole video, I've seen bits of it but it's difficult for me to watch. He said some nice things about me, but it works both ways - he's also been a great friend to me.

Dier and Alli were teammates at Tottenham and for the England national team, forming a close friendship on and off the field.

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And Dier, now plays for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, wished he could have done more for his friend and was shocked to learn of how he grew up.

It annoys me a little because people after that interview would talk to me, but he's been a great friend to me as well - Dele is a special person.

I remember, I was getting married and knew that he was in America, in rehab, and I spoke to him a few times and said that there would be no problem if he couldn't come and he was almost insulted, he came and was there for me - that's the type of friend he's been to me.

I'm disappointed that I didn't do more, in many situations that I look back on I wasn't aware of the full picture and there's a lot of things.

I was that annoying older person, I would always be on his case so he would hide things from me. Or tell me something but give just 20 percent of it.

I have a lot of regrets and there were certain times that I wish I did more.

Alli was regarded as one of England's most talented youngsters after Tottenham signed him from MK Dons in 2015.

For three years, Alli was being compared to Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for his astronomical ability and his goalscoring threat despite being so young.

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He was once regarded as the world's most expensive midfielder but his form faded after 2018, losing his spot in the England side and eventually Tottenham's before signing for Everton in 2022 where he remains sidelined still.

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