Papiss Cisse has talked about his humble beginnings today in Senegal, and he still cannot believe that he came from nowhere - as he says, and is now wearing the number 9 shirt at Newcastle United, and he’s also recently found his goal-scoring touch with two goals in his last three appearances for the club.
Papiss Cisse after scoring on Thursday night
We’ll never forget the images when Papiss went for a hair-cut in Gateshead and the word got around the and the Newcastle striker was mobbed when he left the barber’s shop – and that kind of love from the Newcastle fans seems to have touched him, and it’s like living a dream – being on Tyneside for Papiss.
This is some of what he said in the Newcastle Journal this morning:
“To be able to do all this is something absolutely incredible.” “It is the reason why I don’t have a big head, because I have come from nowhere and now I am here. I feel well loved by so many people and it is one of the great things about the job, to feel so well loved just for doing your job.”
“My home town is small place called Sedhiou in Senegal. It is more of a community than a town, to be honest.” “All of my family are still there and when I get the chance to go on holiday – or we are given time off – I will try to go there for as much of it as possible. That’s where my family and friends are and I do not want to forget it, even after all that has happened to me in Newcastle and in football.
“The area was not wealthy. My family weren’t necessarily a poor family, they did everything for me to have a good life and now I’m really happy because when I get my salary here, I can send it to them.” “I like to say thank you to the area that brought me up. It taught me a lot and I want to say thank you to my family because they are the reason why I do not get a big head.”
“For this reason I am in the middle of launching a couple of projects at the moment. I want to give something back.” “I am the only professional footballer from that community so I feel that I should help out. I am involved in a health information centre that is opening up and I am building a mosque there.”
“But my biggest hope is that I can help the hospital that is there. I have bought an ambulance for them because they need it, and they also don’t have an X-ray machine.” “The hospital is lacking in materials and resources. For some emergencies, people need to go to a bigger city which is four or five hours away by road.”
“I was one of the people that took people from my home town to the city as an ambulance driver.” “When I was 15, I did this for a couple of years. It is how I learned to drive, which was a very happy thing for me. But I also saw the other side of it: sometimes when we were driving to Dakar for treatment we would lose our patient on the way.”
“That is something that really touched me. Why should people die because of that? It made me determined to change things as soon as I was in a position to be able to do it.” “Once you have seen that, you do not forget and I hope that I can help now that I am in a position to do that. I know that you can not do everything.”
Papiss has done some good things with the money he has earned from playing the game of football, and that’s great to see – but there’s really no doubt that Papiss is simply a great guy, and he seems to just love playing at Newcastle United.
It’s good to have players on Tyneside, who just love playing for our club!
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