Retired soccer star Ashley Cole detailed the horrifying moment he thought he was “going to die” as ruthless thugs raided his London home while his girlfriend and their son hid in the closet.
A video of the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender was played in Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, in which he spoke about the terrifying raid on his south London house, the Guardian reported.
In the video, Cole told police, “I was on my knees, waiting to be killed … I’ll never see my kids again.”
The soccer star-turned-coach said at least four men broke into his property on Jan. 21, 2020, shortly after he returned home from a game after 9 pm
Sharon Canu — who shares two kids with Cole — said she grabbed their 6-year-old son and ran into the closet as soon as she heard strange noises outside their home. Their 4-year-old daughter stayed in the living room with Cole, BBC News reported.
It’s alleged the gang was armed with a sledgehammer and threatened to slice the ex-athlete’s fingers off with pliers during the raid.
“I was being brave, I didn’t want to show our daughter that I was scared for our lives,” Cole said, according to ITV News.
Appearing in court on Tuesday, suspect Kurtis Dilks, 34, faces three charges of conspiracy to commit burglary, four charges of converting criminal property, three charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, and two counts of robbery.
In the pre-recorded interview, Canu recalled seeing Cole on his knees with his hands bound with thick cable ties behind his back.
Nine other men are also on trial for their alleged part in a series of “ruthlessly executed” burglaries, according to BBC News.
Three-time English Premier League champion Cole enjoyed a glittering career on the soccer field before hanging up his cleats in 2019.
The former athlete also has one Champions League win, one Europa League win, and seven English FA Cup wins under his belt. He now coaches Everton Football Club.
The trial continues.