Jamie O'Hara on Wolves days: 'I should have shut my mouth and played football'
Jamie O'Hara admits he took his foot off the gas at Wolves – and should have 'shut his mouth and played football'.
The midfielder joined the club in 2011 for £5million after a successful loan spell. However the move turned sour and he was generally regarded as a flop at Molineux, leaving three years later when his contract was paid up.
O'Hara, aged 32, is now playing for non-league side Billericay Town. He's revealed his regrets at letting his celebrity lifestyle get in the way of his football career.
O'Hara married glamour model Danielle Lloyd and 'wanted to be the next David Beckham' but the pair have since divorced and O'Hara's career unfolded.
In a revealing interview with the Independent, he said of his Wolves move: "I took my foot off the gas. I got the great contract and I took my foot off the gas.
"It’s sad really because I look back and think it could have gone so right, and it went so wrong. In hindsight I look back and think 'I should have just kept my mouth shut and played football'.
"You end up trying to chase something because the football’s not there. I was injured, not playing football, so I’m trying to chase a buzz. Going out. Partying. Holidays. Anything for a buzz. Just to look for something to feel like you’re important, people look up to you. When that’s taken away from you, you’re like 'wow, what am I doing?'.
"I’ve played football my whole life. I’ve earned a lot of money, but I’ve spent everything, really. And at 32 years of age, you sit there and think, ‘bloody hell, what have I got to show for it?"
"It got to a point where I was getting pictured on a Saturday night coming out of a club after getting beat. It wasn’t the right thing to be doing. I put myself in a situation where I couldn’t get out. I regret not taking people’s advice when I should have. People were trying to help me. But I was young and I was stubborn and I thought I knew best. And I didn’t.”
"And it’s only now when I look back at 32, you look back in hindsight and think: What are you doing? What are you doing those stupid magazines for? Being pictured out. Keep your mouth shut. Play football. Remember what you dreamed of doing when you were a kid. I let the other side of the game become too focal in my life. And I didn’t want it, I got caught up in it.
“I made some mistakes in terms of being too public profile, definitely. Harry Redknapp warned me about that a long time ago. I didn’t take his advice, and actually I should have.
"I was young, I was going out with Miss Great Britain. I wanted to be the next David Beckham. It didn’t work out like that."
O'Hara is one of three ex-Wolves players currently lining up for Billericay Town in the National League South, along with Kevin Foley and Jermaine Pennant.
He says he's enjoying his football again.
"I’m living really normal now. I used to live this extravagant lifestyle which was all…b*****ks," he added.
"I’ve moved out of Essex now, I’ve moved back to Dartford, near my dad’s. I’m out of the whole materialistic world that I was in, the Essex celebrity scene. I’ve got some great friends there, but the whole scene, it’s just fake. It’s a fake world.
"The biggest thing I’ve realised is that playing football makes me happy. I was trying to do everything, to be everything, instead of just being a footballer, and not thinking about everything else. I love it at Billericay because I can just be a footballer, just one of the lads."