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Players Abroad of Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Source: sun

Kingson ready for biggest test

A GOALKEEPER who has served a drugs ban, goes by three different names, praises God for saving his career and has never won a Premier League game stands between Manchester United and their title bid.

Richard Kingson, 30, will make his full league debut for Wigan tomorrow night as a replacement for the injured Chris Kirkland.

Ghanaian stopper Kingson, who has his name registered as Kingston with UEFA and also has Turkish nationality as Faruk Gursoy, served a six-month ban from world football for drug-taking.

Kingson lost his appeal and has been rebuilding his career since with moves to Hammarby in Sweden and last season Birmingham.

He only played three games, two Carling Cup ties and a Premier League home defeat by Portsmouth.

In his short spell at Birmingham, Kingson was blasted by owner David Sullivan as “a waste of space”.

But when Birmingham boss Steve Bruce moved to Wigan, he took Kingson with him on a free transfer and he came on for Kirkland in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at West Brom.

Now, with Kirkland’s chronic back condition unlikely to be recovered by tomorrow, Kingson gets his big chance against United, who need four points for their third successive league title.

He said: “If the manager picks me against Manchester United, I’ll be ready.

“I don’t think we’ll leave ourselves open for United to beat us. I hope the game will be a different story to the West Brom result. We’re going to play from our hearts. When you are playing against the big clubs everybody in Ghana wants to watch.

“In my country I’m very famous and everywhere I go people recognise me easily.

“Only a few people recognise me in England but I hope soon they’ll know me.

“I have what Mr Sullivan said always in the back of my mind. I hope to play against Birmingham next season. I was upset with what he said. They were not the right words to use. He didn’t say sorry.

“He called my team-mate Frank Queudrue to apologise for saying it about him, but he never called me.

“I was disappointed nobody from the club or management called me to say sorry. I was angry but I don’t want to carry this in my life.”

Kingson who has 58 caps for Ghana, relies on his faith in God and prays before games.

He said: “I enter into what I term ‘the silent prayers’ and pray to God for a good day in order not to pick a ball from my net.

“I’ll never forget the day I nearly said goodbye to football due to the numerous injuries, pains, agony and suffering I had to go through.

“This was after seven Turkish doctors declared my career finished. I still shed tears whenever I remember.

“I’ve fractured my left cheekbone and my right ankle but there was more agony to follow when I suffered an injury to my waist.

“I headed home for some herbal treatment but there was no solution so I began to seek God’s help. Lo and behold I got healed through prayers.”