AFC Bournemouth: I was close to going off the rails says ex-Cherries star Stock (From Bournemouth Echo)
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AFC Bournemouth: I was close to going off the rails says ex-Cherries star Stock
PETER Grant’s prediction almost came true – on both fronts.
During his time as Sean O’Driscoll’s assistant at Dean Court, Grant said Brian Stock would either turn out to be a Premiership player or a pub player.
Although the top-flight may have eluded Stock, the gifted midfielder can now look back on just how close he came to pulling the strings for the Dog & Duck.
Stock, whose career almost ended before it had started due to his wayward lifestyle, has just gone into business after launching his own sports website.
Funded by the trappings of being a professional footballer for 14 years, the ex-Cherries apprentice, who is now at Burnley, knows it could have been a very different story.
“Had it not been for Sean O’Driscoll, I probably would have been propping up a bar somewhere in Bournemouth telling everyone how I could have been this and that,” said Stock, whose online concern www.stocksprosports.co.uk went live last month.
“Every time I see Peter Grant, it reminds me of what he said about me. I didn’t quite make the Premier League but was fortunate not to make the pub leagues either! I have come out on the right side but it could have been very different.
“It all started when I was summoned to Mel Machin’s office just after I had turned 18. I was still a YT and was cleaning someone’s boots when Willo (John Williams) came to fetch me. I was absolutely bricking it.
“I walked in and Mel offered me my first contract. He said they would give me double what a first-year pro should get and a five-year contract. He told me I had five minutes to make up my mind and I didn’t need to think too much about it.
“In hindsight, it was too much, too soon and I rested on my laurels. I got banned from driving, was getting involved in scrapes all the time and would even turn in drunk for training. Sean pulled me to one side and gave me an ultimatum.
“He said it was my last chance. He put me in digs, he took control of my money and would only let me out once a week to play bingo with my landlord (Ken ‘Nimbus’ Sullivan, who passed away earlier this year).
“I lived like a monk for a few months and it certainly paid off. I have got a lot of people to thank for rescuing my career – Nimbus and his wife Audrey, my mum and dad and family. And Sean.”
Stock, who was once plastered across the front page of the Daily Echo following an altercation in a nightclub, went on to make more than 150 appearances for Cherries before reuniting with O’Driscoll at Doncaster following a brief spell with Preston.
During his time at Dean Court, he netted the first goal at the developed stadium in a 3-0 win over Wrexham in November 2001 and his talent saw him win over the supporters following a testing start. He was also capped by Wales.
“A lot has happened since those wild days!” joked Stock, who lives in Wilmslow with wife Krystilee, sons Harley, nine, and Luca, two, and five-year-old daughter Daisyella.
“I’ve settled down and had a family and my wife and children have played a huge part in me turning things around. I’ve got my head screwed on now!
“I’m still only 31 and am the fittest I have ever been. I have got plenty of miles left in me yet.
“The business venture was my idea and I have created a website to recommend products, mainly football and golf. It is an affiliate website and I don’t deal with any stock. I just point people in the right direction and recommend products I have hand-picked. They are things which have worked for me and I have recently added a new line in sports nutrition.
“It is not going to make me rich but will hopefully bring in a bit of income. I just felt it would be a better proposition than running a pub!”
- Brian Stock's website can be found at www.stocksprosports.co.uk
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