Ronald “Ronnie” Wallwork (born on the 10th September 1977 in Manchester) is a former English footballer of a very special sort.
He was trained by Manchester United to be a central defence and defensive midfielder. He just didn’t get the breakthrough he needed sports wise and after being on loan to different teams, he decided to start afresh in 2002 with West Bromwich Albion.After a fit of anger against a referee in the year 1999 while playing with Royal Antwerpen for a short time he was barred – up until a partial quashing by the Belgian court – for life.
After the season of 2007/08 Wallwork ended his football career at 30 years old. His biggest sporting success was in the season of 2000/01 when he won the EFC Championship with Manchester United and trainer Alex Ferguson put him in twelve Premier League matches.
His private life also contained a lot of violence. In 2006 he was attacked by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend with a knife and in 2011 he was sentences to 15 months in prison for the illegal dealing of car parts. Police caught him as he was driving a stolen Mazda to the scrapyard.
As a youth, Ralf von Diericke played with Schinkel 04, Osnabrücker SC and Blue-White Schinkel. He made the jump from amateur to professional in the amateur league of VfL Osnabruck and made his debut in 1980/81 in the second national league. After that he transferred to the third division of Nordrhein to Wuppertaler SV, where we were able to pick up and finish an apprenticeship to be a wholesaler, which he had originally quit to pursue football.
Playing in attack next to Jonny Hey, he was the best WSV scorer in the season of 1982/83 scoring 14 goals. After another transfer he played a total of 14 national league matches in the season of 1983/84 for Fortuna Düsseldorf. Towards the end of the season however, he was nothing more than reservist. Despite having a two-year contract with Fortuna Düsseldorf, he left and re-joined Wuppertaler SV. This breach of contract resulted in a six-month ban. On the 17th of February 1985 a masked man robbed the Wuppertaler SV office. He struck down a secretary, locked her in the toilets and robbed the income made from the ticket sales from a WSV vs FV Bad Honnef match, which was around 11.000 German mark, from the safe. After an investigation that lasted several weeks, von Diericke, who played as a midfielder in the afore mentioned match, confessed to giving an accomplice tips, a sketch of the layout of the office and even to standing lookout himself.
He also admitted to robbing an arcade in Wuppertal while masked and armed with a tear gas gun and stealing a total of 2000 German mark. He was sentenced to six years in prison for robbery with aggravation by the district court of Wuppertal in September 1985. As a striker in the jail team Diericke played a friendly match against VfB 06/08 Remscheid, that allowed him to catch their attention. After an expert’s report came back with a positive social prognosis, he was placed in an open prison in Remscheid-Lüttrighausen, where he played for the third division in 1987/88, where he also worked as the janitor. Subsequently he transferred, still as an inmate, to Union Solingen and he ended up playing 27 matches in the second national league in the season of 1988/89.
After he was released, he worked as a trainer for Rheinwacht Erfegen with teams such as Prussia Krefeld, Sportfreunde Siegen, the VfB Kleve, SV Straelen, Siegfried Materborn and District League B. After the end of his professional career he trained the U19 of the local league SV Hönnepel/Niedermörmter from 2006/07 onwards and is a salesman today.
Looking past his incredible talent at football, he often acted quite temperamentally. One of his biggest mistakes was committed together with his teammate Lee Bowyer.
In January 2000 he was out with Bowyer at a nightclub. They got into a brawl outside the club, where an Asian student got badly injured. After the first trial in April 2001 had to be ended early, Woodgate went through a second trial that lasted until December 2001, which meant his hours on the pitch were reduced a lot. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and Lee Bowyer was let off.
The English football association banned Woodgate from playing any international matches, this meant that after his debut he was not chosen for many matches and missed out on a chance to play at the World Championships in 2002 in Japan and South Korea. Due to many injuries, his time spent playing for the team was relatively sporadic.
Rafael Márquez debuted in the first team of Atlas Guadalajara at the young age of 17 and played his first match for the Mexican national team just before his 18th birthday.
At age 20 he made his way to Europe, first with AS Monaco and then to FC Barcelona. He played outstandingly, elegantly and reliably, could read the match like hardly anyone else could. He won the Champions League with FC Barcelona in 2006 and was the first Mexican ever to do so. Pep Guardiola, who was manager at FC Barcelona from 2008 onwards stated: “He only makes people better through the way he plays.” Márquez married a popular Soap actress, got divorced, got remarried, this time to a model. Then he made a decision that he would later describe as a huge mistake. In 2010 he transferred away from Europe to the New York Red Bulls. The New York Times referred to him as the “Einstein of football”, but then his career took a huge turn. He became more and more unpopular among the fans, the Mexican fouled, swore and started fights.
He missed more than half of all MLS matches. Sometimes he would be suspended by the club, other times by the MLS, then he was injured repeatedly, and sometimes it was unclear why he wasn’t there. When he left the club in 2012, everyone was relieved to say the least. In 2016 Márquez returned to his roots to Mexico and Atlas Guadalajara, where his career had begun and he wanted to continue playing in peace. This didn’t work out though, as American authorities informed him, that they had frozen all of his accounts because he had been involved in drug dealings.
A football school he had founded in the USA was also put on the blacklist. In a press conference he was spontaneously called up to on Guadalajara’s pitch Márquez stated: “This is the most difficult match of my life, but I will succeed in it.” He also denied ever having any contact with the drugs boss Raul Flores.
But on the 18th April 2011, everything changed for Koç when he was arrested by the police. He was charged with taking part in multiple raids that included serious robbery and bodily harm. In the legal proceedings, he was eventually charged with helping by being the getaway driver and was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison at the end of 2011. This meant that he wasn’t able to play any matches until July 2012. At the end of 2013 Koç was released early und was given a second chance by SV Babelberg.
The German-Turk was on his best behaviour throughout his contract period, he was well recognised in his group of teammates. All of the people involved in the board and the trainer team felt that he truly regretted any involvement in the crime he committed, and he was doing his best to be better, the Babelsberger Website states. Koç explained, that he was ready and grateful to be able to play with SV Babelsberg again.
After he was released, he ran multiple kilometres every day, but it is a totally different experience to train with a team and a ball. He put his past and his former gang behind him. He demonstrated this with his time with SC Paderborn as well, with whom he played in the national league.
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