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Rob Elliot Opens Up On Hitting "Rock Bottom" At Charlton En Route To Premier League

Rob Elliot Opens Up On Hitting "Rock Bottom" At Charlton En Route To Premier League
By Arthur James O'Dea
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It may have taken some time to materialise, but Rob Elliot is finally a first-choice Premier League player.

While his former Charlton Athletic club mate Darren Randolph retains primacy in terms of international selection, Elliot, now in his seventh season with Newcastle United, is at greater professional ease than at any time in his career.

Yet, now 31 years old, Elliot has been irrevocably shaped by the daunting experiences of his youth.

Speaking with The Sun, Elliot recalled the painful memories of hitting his 'rock bottom'.

Playing for his local Charlton Athletic under Alan Pardew, Elliot discussed being absolutely penniless, forced on more than one occasion to skip the fare on his train journey across south-east London.

Far from desperate mis-management however, it was indicative of greater off-field struggles Elliot couldn't escape. With his parents separating and the teenage Elliot required to provide for his mum and young sister, the toll began to tell:

I was not earning very much at the time, and all my wages were going on [my mum's] mortgage. Then my car broke down and I couldn't afford to repair it.

So I ended up bunking the train to training because I didn't have enough money - I was in trouble, going to court.


Keen to keep his personal issues separate from Pardew and the club, to Elliot's despair, his misplaced stoicism was completely misinterpreted.

On being called into Pardew's office after what Elliot describes as a training-ground 'breakdown', the man who would go on to sign Elliot again for Newcastle believed he was too sheltered.


I had a good relationship with him, he’s a good guy who always looked after me.

But he was like, ‘I think your problem is that you go home, your mum makes your tea, you have a nice easy life at home and I don’t think you really know what it’s like’.

I remember thinking, ‘Is that what people really think of me? That’s not who I am. I’m doing everything I can to help my family.

So far removed from the chastening reality of Elliot's day-to-day existence, Pardew was not to know - Elliot maintains that 'he's a good guy who always looked after me.'

Thankfully, a keen-eyed coach of Elliot's tweaked that something was not right that had little to do with the 'keeper's attitude.

If not for the intervention of Andy Woodman, who gave Elliot someone to talk to about his situation, the Ireland stopper is under no illusions that he 'wouldn't be a pro now.'


Supporting the 'Movember' initiative for men's mental health, Elliot's career is a testament to the positives that can be gained from talking.

See Also: 'You Hope The Impression You Leave Is A Smile On Their Face, Saying 'Yeah, He Was OK'


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