In this second part of the Championship Manager Heroes series, Carl MacDonald looks at the disastrous career of Justin Georcelin. Despite being an explosive striker who went on to become a world beater in the Championship Manager 01/02 game, Georcelin’s real-life career was much the opposite…
In June 2005, a taxi driver going about his business was attacked by a gang of three men who had hailed his cab. The driver’s head was pulled back and a knife held to his throat, and the three men fled with the driver’s earnings, leaving him heavily affected by his ordeal.
It was just the latest in a spree of similar attacks on Northamptonshire taxi drivers. When police eventually made arrests, and members of the gang were charged, there was an intriguing sub-plot to the story, as Justin Georcelin stood in the court room and awaited his fate. The judge sentenced him to an indefinite spell in prison and it completed a remarkable down-turn in fortunes for Georcelin.
Aged just 17, Georcelin had been on the books of Northampton Town Football Club, and had been destined for big things.
But despite his undoubted potential, Georcelin fell in with the wrong crowd outside of his footballing sphere, and soon his football was suffering.
Georcelin turned to drugs and developed a crack habit that was costing £500 a day.
With his prospective glittering career as a professional footballer in tatters, Georcelin turned to robbery in a bit to feed his habit, and became part of a gang that struck fear into taxi drivers across Northampton.
Having had an early appeal against his conviction quashed, Georcelin will be eligible for parole later this year.
Whether or not he walks free just yet is a different matter, but whatever the outcome, it’s clear that Justin Georcelin is living proof that no matter how gifted a footballer is, mixing with the wrong crowd can see all that talent go to waste.