Kieran Richardson, 27-year-old left winger for the Sunderland Association Football Club, recently shared his testimony about giving up his life as a flamboyant athlete caught up in fame to change his life and dedicate it to Jesus Christ.
Richardson told a the Good Word Ministries Church in County Durham, England why he changed his lifestyle.
"Five years ago all I cared about was going out, clothing and looking good," Richardson admitted to the congregation of about 100 people. "I'd go out with my friends after a game to nightclubs, get drunk and meet women. I did that for a very long time."
The footballer admitted that his former choices to live a flashy lifestyle began to affect his career.
"My last year in my Manchester (United) career, my football went off the rails. I was more worried about my social life than my football," Richardson told the church. "'I knew I wasn't performing because I was more interested in houses and cars."
Richardson explained that he wasn't happy with his former lifestyle, and the reason why he is happy today.
"I wasn't happy," the footballer admitted. "Now I have Jesus Christ in my life and I feel good in my heart."
Richardson first professed his faith in Jesus Christ publicly in December when he appeared in a vest that read "I belong to Jesus" while celebrating scoring in the Premier League at Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, he admitted an initial change in his faith took place after his girlfriend Natalie Suliman invited him to church and he moved to Sutherland in 2007.
During that time, Richardson did not make the coveted Machester United squad for the 2007 FA Cup final and decided to party his troubles away. While he was out, he met lingerie model and girlfriend Suliman.
Although he tried to persuade her to take a vacation with him, she helped change his life by persuading him to go to church instead.
"I wasn't meant to go out, but I was upset. But me going out in the West End was when change happened, when I saw this woman. It was a big changing point," Richardson recalled.
"After a while I asked her: 'Do you want to come on holiday to Barbados?' She said 'I'll come to Barbados if you go to church.'"
Presently, Richardson said his mentality on and off the field has changed.
"If I didn't get picked for a game before, I used to blame the manager but now I think: 'God doesn't want me to play,'" Richardson said. "I just want to praise Jesus Christ and go to heaven. That's all I care about."