Sol Campbell once divided London. Now he wants to unite it.
The former England defender, who caused uproar when he left Tottenham Hotspur for fierce rivals Arsenal on a free transfer in 2001, has announced that he is standing for London Mayor in 2016.
The 40-year-old aims to succeed Boris Johnson as the Tory candidate and will begin his campaign with a debate between fellow party contenders on July 4.
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Campbell was a winner on the football pitch – lifting two Premier League titles and three FA Cups – and insists that he is in this race to win it too, despite being an outside bet, having only joined the Conservative Party last year.
“I’m going in with my eyes wide open. I know I’m not going to be a frontrunner,” he told Sun Nation.
“But I look at people who have been in politics for five, 10, 15 years, and muck up, you see them muck up and think, ‘you guys are supposed to be pro! People that have gone to Oxbridge, had thousands spent on their education, and I mean they are royally mucking up.”
“I bring something new to the table. This is a whole new road for me, something I can get my teeth into but I just felt it was something I had to do. I come from a working class background, I wasn’t easy for me at all, but I worked hard. And now it’s about giving something back.”
Campbell, who retired from football following his release by Newcastle United in 2012, won 73 caps for his country and played in three World Cups.