Six years ago, teenager Kieran Egan was a cocaine-taking football hooligan sleeping rough.
After the death of a close friend and a fall-out with his mum, he was just 17 when his life spiralled out of control.
The avid Coventry City fan said: “I fell in with a bad crowd. After games, we would wait for opposition fans coming out. I’d get involved in fights…
“This happened every week. I’ve punched people to the ground before, caused black eyes, nose bleeds. I am so embarrassed looking back…”
But now, aged 23, those days are behind him and he’s turned his life around to such an extent that, today, Kieran is a winner at The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards.
In front of a star-studded audience at the London Palladium, Kieran will receive the Prince’s Trust Breakthrough Award, sponsored by the Daily Mirror.
He said: “All those years back, I never would have imagined I’d be where I am today. I am ashamed of some of the things I’ve done, but also proud of how far I have come.”
The incident Kieran is most embarrassed about took place in 2013, when he ran on to a pitch mid-game, bare-chested and drunk.
He recalled: “It was all over the papers and I got arrested. It was a low point…”
Kieran slept rough for five years, which took a huge toll on his mental and physical health.
He said: “I was taking drugs and felt like I wasn’t ever going to get anywhere.
“I was also diagnosed with depression. I got really unwell and had to go to hospital to have my appendix out. But when I was there, I was referred on to The Prince’s Trust team programme and it was here that things started to change.”
He got on to a 12-week programme to help him find a job.
He said: “I felt motivated for the first time in years and put all of my energy into the programme. I made friends, improved my lifestyle choices and felt I had something to get up for every day.”
Kieran is now studying at college for a sports leadership qualification, has stopped taking drugs and has started to rebuild a relationship with his mum.
He said: “It’s early days, but she will be there to watch me accept the award.
“I know she’s really proud of me – that means a lot.”
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