Charlie Oatway: ‘I had to be open when I signed my contracts – look, I can’t write’

Former footballer and Premier League coach supports youngsters struggling with education and is passing on advice from his life ‘I get sworn at less by the kids than I used to by Gus [Poyet], especially if I gave the ball back to the opposition too quickly,” Charlie Oatway says, breaking into laughter as he compares life on the touchline with working to support young people struggling with education as a family liaison officer at the Russell Martin Foundation (RMF). Oatway first worked alongside Poyet as a coach at Brighton, for whom he also played, and followed him to Sunderland, Spain and Shanghai but these days his focus is on changing lives in Sussex, by returning to his roots and using his challenging childhood as a powerful tool to which others can relate.He recalls his parents, Doreen and Tony, being thrown to the floor by police and their house, on the White City estate in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, being ransacked. His dad leaned on the Kray twins when on the run after a robbery and hid in a flat above a tailors in east London before being sent to prison. His uncles and cousins have also spent years behind bars and Oatway served two months in Pentonville prison for GBH, while on the books at Cardiff City.

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