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Micah Richards thanked Man Utd legend for changing his life with 'kick up the a***' speech

Micah Richards thanked Man Utd legend for changing his life with 'kick up the a***' speech

Former Manchester City star Richards says the speech changed his life.

Micah Richards thanked former Manchester United striker Andrew Cole for giving him a hugely valuable piece of advice when he was a youngster at Manchester City.

Richards, now one of the most loved pundits in English football, played with Cole during the striker's brief spell at City in the 2005/06 season.

Former England international Richards was promoted to the first-team squad shortly after ex-United striker Cole joined City on a free transfer following his departure from Fulham.

Making his senior debut as a 17-year-old, Richards quickly established himself as a regular starter and appeared destined for stardom.

In his 2022 book titled 'The Game: Player. Pundit. Fan.', Richards revealed how Cole – a recent inductee into the Premier League Hall of Fame - gave him a crucial piece of advice that would remain with him throughout his career.

"One day, when I was still spending money like it was about to run out, I came into training with an all-diamond watch. It had cost me a fortune and I was keen to show it off. Andrew Cole was unimpressed," said Richards.

"He asked: 'What do you think you're doing?' I was offended. I started to argue with him, to tell him not to criticise, but he didn't rise to it.

"He just asked me where my parents were living. They were still in their old house in Chapeltown, I said. 'And how much would that house cost?' he asked.

"I didn't know, but I was pretty sure a watch made entirely from diamonds would make a decent deposit. 'And yet you're buying this,' he said, pointing at the watch.

"'If you've done what you need to do, buy whatever you want,' he said. 'But don't buy all this stuff first when you don't have all the other stuff lined up. Don't fall into that trap.'

"I don't think I ever told him, but that speech changed my life. It was a kick up the a***. I don't know why he singled me out for help.

Richards burst onto the scene at Manchester City (Image: Getty)
Richards burst onto the scene at Manchester City (Image: Getty)

"Maybe he saw me as a younger version of himself: a young black kid who was going to have to work out what to do with all of the money coming his way.

"It was a little bit of harsh reality that I needed. I made sure, from that point on, that my future and my family's future was secure — and I bought my parents a house."

Richards would go on to make 246 first-team appearances for City, eventually leaving to join Aston Villa in 2015 – a decade after his senior debut.

He would spend four injury-plagued years at Villa before finally hanging up his boots in 2019.

Richards has since forged a successful career in television and has won plaudits for his work on CBS Sports alongside Kate Abdo, Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry.

But it could have been very different, had it not been for Cole's shrewd advice all those years ago.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Manchester City, Micah Richards, Premier League, Football, Manchester United