The Harsh Reality: Ex-Chiefs Keeper Forced To Sell Bottles To Make Ends Meet
Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Emile Baron has opened up about his struggles to make ends meet following a career-ending injury in 2013. Baron played for Kaizer Chiefs from 2004-2009 and also had a stint with Norwegian side Lillestrøm Sportsklubb.
Difficulties and Struggles
Since his injury, Baron has had difficulties sustaining himself and his family. He has resorted to selling empty bottles to make a living and crashing at a friend’s place. He explained to the Norwegian publication TV2 that he suffered from depression and found it hard to do anything, and he isolated himself from the world.
He also struggled to find a job, especially during the pandemic when many businesses went bankrupt. Baron shared that he feels weak in every aspect – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Upon learning about Baron’s situation, Lillestrøm’s fans launched a fundraising initiative to support the ex-footballer. The initiative has so far raised R2 million for Baron, which will go a long way in helping him and his family.
Baron’s struggle reflects a larger issue
Emile Baron’s struggle is not unique in the world of football. Many players who retire due to injury or age often struggle to find work after their playing careers are over. This struggle is even more pronounced in developing countries like South Africa, where the job market is limited, and opportunities for retired players are scarce.
Baron’s story is a reminder of the importance of supporting former players and providing them with avenues for sustainable livelihoods.