Journey

Deeney leads the club into their second ever English FA Cup final against Manchester City on Saturday.

The 30-year-old, who served three months of a 10-month sentence in 2012 following a conviction for affray, has since become a folk hero at the club.

Deeney has helped them to earn promotion to the English Premier League (EPL) in 2015 and guided them to 11th this season.

He scored as Watford beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 after extra time of a memorable FA Cup semi-final to reach the final for the first time in 35 years.

Deeney is now eager to collect his medal from Britain’s Prince William.

“It’s one of those games when, looking back on it now, from my background to meeting royalty and stuff, it’s mental really when you think about it,” Deeney said.

“When I got to jail, it was a blessing in disguise because it made me re-evaluate and check who I am as a person.

“It opened up new avenues… such as seeing a psychologist and having to deal with my problems because I used to drink a lot as well. I used to think I was dealing with things, but I was drinking and that kind of went into a spiral effect.”

“We’re massive underdogs, but at the same time, I’m hugely proud of the achievement,” Deeney added.

“For me, it’s no fear. Look at everything we just spoke about. Football isn’t going to scare me or playing against Manchester City… because of everything I’ve been through.”

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)