Jacob Mellis was an England junior international and a huge talent at Chelsea. Instead of a great career, there was a big crash.
There was a time when Jacob Mellis was one of the brightest prospects in Chelsea’s illustrious academy and one of the brightest prospects in English football. He was a FA Youth Cup finalist in 2008, trained with the big stars of the blues at the time and had a bright future ahead of him. Today there is not much left of it. Mellis is 32 years old, addicted to alcohol and homeless. In the Daily Mail he reports on his blatant crash.
Mellis, who has not played football since 2021, spoke openly about his difficulties in dealing with alcohol: “Throughout my career it was one thing that gave me problems. When you drink you have no control over what you do does.”
Jacob Mellis: David Luiz noticed his flag in training
“Of course it had an impact on training,” Mellis said. “The coaches weren’t happy. I remember coming to practice drunk once. I was 19. Steve Holland [Chelseas Assistenztrainer] sent me in.” He often drank when he hadn’t made it into the squad or was frustrated.
His behavior was also noticed by fellow players. He described an incident with Brazil’s ex-national player David Luiz. “He hardly spoke any English at the time. As we warmed up, he gestured towards his nose, ‘Hey, have you been drinking?’ He waved his finger to signal me to stop.”
So Mellis’ problems were well known in the Blues. Former academy director Dermot Drummy assigned him a mentor from the first team in Ashley Cole. “The people there tried to help me, I can’t lie,” said Mellis. “But I was cheeky and arrogant back then. I thought I always had to play.” So he didn’t channel his displeasure properly.
The breakthrough in Chelsea’s pros did not materialize for the former U19 international (twelve appearances, four goals). Loan deals to Barnsley and Southampton were followed by the final farewell to the Blues in 2012. Mellis later played for Blackpool, Bury and Mansfield, far away from the Premier League and Champions League.
Ex-Chelsea talent Jacob Mellis is in rehab
His alcohol addiction has not only cost him his career. In the meantime he has also lost his place of residence and no permanent residence. “I spend every day thinking about where to go. I have a family, but I don’t want to be a burden,” Mellis said. He sometimes sleeps on friends’ sofas or in hotels, where friends then pick up the bill.
He is now willing to get his life back on track. He has contacted the Professional Footballers’ Association and will be attending the Sporting Chance Clinic to help overcome his drinking problems.
Should that be successful, Mellis would like to get back into football. Chelsea helped him take the first steps towards becoming a scout. He hopes to later work as a talent scout.