HARROW FC new boy Rickelle Christian wants to rebuild his football career after having his name tarnished by accusations of rioting.
Christian stood trial after turning himself in to police following the publication of photo that claimed to link him to last summer’s London riots.
The 22-year-old was cleared of any wrongdoing at Wood Green Crown Court in a two-day trial that Christian says dragged his name through the gutter.
But having signed for Dave Anderson’s side last month he wants to prove that he is focussed on football and to repay the manager for showing great faith in him.
He said the accusation linking him to the riots was all a misunderstanding. He added: “It was something that the local police got wrong. They thought I was involved in an incident in Wood Green, next to where I live.
“I was walking home and it looked like I was involved [in the riots] but I wasn’t. There was a photo of me in the paper and when I saw it I thought ‘what’s going on?’ so that’s when I handed myself in. I wanted to clear my name.
“The case went to trial at Wood Green Crown Court. They remanded me in custody and I was there just thinking ‘what am I doing here?’ and I felt like my world had shattered.
“The riots were in August and my name was cleared by December. It was a two-day trial and the jury found me not guilty after I’d told them that all along. When something like that happens it tarnishes my reputation and I don’t want to be linked with that stuff.
“I’ve come here to show people that I’m all about football and to give my all for Harrow Borough. I’m not really one to even be getting booked; I’m a very respectful player on the pitch.”
Christian is primarily a right-back, an area that has been something of a problem for Boro this season, and the defender insists he is more than capable of making the step up from Spartan South Midlands outfit Haringey Borough.
He added: “I think I can be a good asset to the team. Right-back is my favourite position and it’s the one I’m most familiar with. We tend to play a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs here but I’m comfortable with that.
“It has always been about football for me – I live and breathe football. I wanted to leave Haringey to test myself as a player. When a team like Harrow came in for me I couldn’t say no. It was a good offer and I want to improve.”