In a shocking report brought by The SUN, the homeless mother of Arsenal footballer, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, is sleeping in a freezing 10ft square metal storage crate.
While the Arsenal star shares a luxury £700,000 apartment with brother, Cordi, his mum has had to sneak past staff at the Big Yellow Storage warehouse to sleep in the freezing container.
Jule said she began living in the box three months ago after her relationship broke down with Ainsley, who is currently rated at £15million.
It’s a metal container with no windows or carpet. There is no toilet or washing facilities. My son Ainsley could buy me a flat with two weeks or two month’s wages. But the money’s gone to his head and I’m in this position. My son plays for Arsenal and I am homeless and in a storage unit. It’s not a home. I know what home feels like — to be able to shower, brush your teeth and sit in your room. All that I miss — but most of all I miss my family. It’s horrible. I just want to know what I’ve done wrong.
Jule said she lives in fear that the warehouse staff will realise she is sleeping in the container and turn her out on the street.
“I wait until everyone has gone home and slip into the unit when it is dark. It is heartbreaking. The area is covered in snow and it’s not been above freezing for days. I heard a homeless man died here overnight on Thursday”.
Jule sat on a bare mattress on the container’s floor and told how she struggled as a single mum to raise Ainsley and charity worker, Cordi in council houses in and around Ilford, East London.
All around her are bags of family photos, including dog-eared pictures of Ainsley playing football as a toddler. Pushed into a box are his first contracts with the Gunners.
Jule told how when the boys were growing up, she was sometimes so poor that she went hungry so they could eat.
Ainsley was spotted by Arsenal scouts and signed for the club’s academy when he was just six.
All her sacrifices appeared to have paid off when in December 2014, he made his debut for The Gunners aged 17 in the Champions League against Galatasaray.
Four days later he made his Premier League debut in a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United. Afterwards he paid tribute to God and his mum in an interview on Arsenal’s website:
I want to thank my family and God mostly for putting me here . Asked what he would do with his match shirt, he said: I think I’ll frame it and give it to my mum.
This campaign, Ainsley who is a midfielder, winger or right back, has played nine league and eight European games for the Gunners.