est Ham midfielder Declan Rice admits being dumped by Chelsea left him embarrassed.
Rice was released by his boyhood club Chelsea aged 14 after struggling with the ‘physical aspect’ of football.
He recalled to Sky Sports: “Obviously, I was released at 14 by Chelsea, something that I didn’t expect at all.
“It was all I ever knew as a kid, you know, it’s my whole life, going there, training with the mates I’d met.
“And honestly, I felt like that was it – I was gutted, my dad coming home telling me after school.
“Other clubs find out before you get released about whether you’re going to be released or not, and that night I actually went and trained with Fulham.
“I trained with Fulham on Wednesday that night, and on Thursday I was at West Ham.”
On the embarrassment of being released, he said: “Yeah, definitely.
“I think the embarrassment of it you know, how did you tell your friends that you’ve been released by Chelsea.
“That was a tough one. Also shock, obviously, upset, so I thought where I’m going to go, what I’m going to do from here?
“I still don’t know the exact reason [why Chelsea released me] – I wish I did.
“I think it was probably down to the fact that when I was a kid I was actually tiny.
“I was going for a massive growth spurt at the time – my body wasn’t all connected together, my running pattern was really weird.
“Technical ability was fine, but in terms of the physical aspect of it, I was struggling.”