Sunderland and ex-Manchester United footballer Kieran Richardson speaks about his Christian faith

‘Now I have Jesus in my life I feel good in my heart’: Sunderland footballer Kieran Richardson speaks out about his Christian faith

Sunderland footballer Kieran Richardson has spoken of how he has transformed his life, leaving behind his wayward socialite ways, since becoming a Christian.  Last night, he told a meeting at Good Word Ministries church, in Langley Moor, County Durham, how unhappy he was living ‘the good life.’

The 27-year-old England international told the 100 strong congregation: ‘Five years ago all I cared about was going out, clothing and looking good.  I wasn’t happy.  Now I have Jesus Christ in my life and I feel good in my heart,’ he said.

The 27-year-old England international went public about his faith in December when he celebrated scoring in the Premier League at Wolverhampton Wanderers by revealing a vest declaring ‘I belong to Jesus’.  He said: ‘I started thinking about money rather than the football.  I’d go out with my friends after a game to nightclubs, get drunk and meet women.  I did that for a very long time.

‘If you were on the outside looking in, you would think I was living the good life.  But I wasn’t happy.  My last year in my Manchester (United) career, my football went off the rails.  I was more worried about my social life than my football.  I knew I wasn’t performing because I was more interested in houses and cars.’

When his father asked why he had gone ‘off the boil’, Richardson broke down in tears, he admitted.  But after Richardson joined Sunderland in 2007, his future wife, Natalie Suliman, invited him to visit a church in the city.  There, in his words, he gave his life to Christ.

He said: ‘I felt so special. It was a crazy feeling.  My life changed.  It didn’t change straightaway.  It was a gradual thing; it has been a gradual process.  My faith is so strong now, the way I look at life is completely different.’

Richardson said his calling on earth was to give praise to God and, after retiring from football, he wanted to spread the word of God in the Developing World.  He urged people to live in faith, not fear; and said God wanted them in Heaven, not Hell.

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