THE BROTHER of an England youth football star turned to drug dealing after his own promising career was ruined by injury, a court heard.

Warren Simeu broke his foot just days before academy trials with five time Premier League champions Chelsea.

The promising footballer did not disclose the injury and underwent the trial, but was rejected by the London club.

His younger brother, Dynel Simeu, was successful and has since become a star in Chelsea's academy side, as well as for England Under 17s.

Southampton Crown Court heard how the shattering of Simeu’s “life-long dream”, in contrast to his brother’s success, caused him to “go off the rails”.


(Warren Simeu (right) with his brother)

He turned to drug use and then dealing, as he struggled to pay off mounting debts.

On Monday, he was jailed for almost two years after pleading guilty to dealing heroin, MDMA and crack cocaine.

Defence barrister, David Freeland told the court how the former Barton Peveril College student was a “promising young footballer” who had secured trials at a Premier League side.

But just days before the trials he suffered an injury.

Mr Freeland said: “He suffered an injury to his right foot, which would turn out to be a broken foot and a damaged toe.

“That was a week before he had trials with the Premier League club.

“He was unable to use his right foot and his left foot simply wasn’t up to standard.”

He added: “His brother applied to that same club and was accepted and has since gone on to play for England Under 17s.

“He was gutted he missed out on a career which was his life dream.

“He experienced a significant life change, which seems to be put into very sharp focus by the success of his sibling."

Mr Freeland said Simeu fell out of his group of friends and into a new crowd, with whom he began taking drugs.

His parents soon found out and he was kicked out of the family home.

Mr Freeland said Simeu ran up a large drug debt and was threatened into dealing by criminals who promised to target his family, including his brother.


(Warren Simeu (right) with his brother)

Prosecutor Rob Griffiths told the court how Simeu was caught by police on three separate occasions last year, including in Palmerston Park, Southampton, in May.

On that occasion, he was taken to hospital for inspection and was found to have stashed drugs inside him.

In total, police found six wraps of heroin, 17 wraps of crack cocaine and nine and a half MDMA pills.

Simeu was also caught with heroin and crack cocaine at a home in Winchester, as well as at a home in the St Mary’s area of Southampton.

He pleaded guilty to possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Simeu, of Gainsborough Road, Southampton, also pleaded guilty to breaching a community order, from previous drugs offence.

Judge Gary Burrell sentenced Simeu to two years in prison.

This was reduced by 30 days due to his time spent on electronic tag.

Judge Gary Burrell said: “This is a very serious series of offences.

"You’ve had every opportunity to change and you haven’t taken advantage of your community order."