Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller loses a stone in weight after Jamaican family home destroyed

July 20th, 2010

Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller lost a stone in weight during the close season because his family home in Jamaica was destroyed.

The 30-year-old Jamaican was raised in the Tivoli Gardens area of Kingston, scene of rioting and violence in June when suspected drug dealer Christopher Coke was shielded from arrest by rioting locals, resulting in 70 deaths before his capture.

And the house in which Fuller was raised – owned by his grandmother – was lost during the fire bombings resulting in the fretting 6ft 3in burly forward dropping around 14lbs from the 12st 5lb fighting weight that brought him eight goals last season.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis granted his hitman extra summer leave before joining up with the squad on their pre-season tour of Austria and is sure he will soon be the man he used to be.

Pulis insisted: ‘There’s no doubt that it was the right decision to give him extra time off.

‘He’s taken a bit of stick off the lads after joining them late out in Austria last week, but Ric is well used to that.

‘As a manager, I think you have to give and take, so it was the right thing to do.’

Pulis added that midfielder Dean Whitehead also has non football-related issues on his mind and that he had loosened the tight grip he keeps on his squad on another occasion.

‘Dean Whitehead needed to leave Austria early because his wife was giving birth and it’s only right to help the players.

‘It’s extraordinary that Dean came out to Austria in the first place and took the chance of having to rush back.

‘To me, that shows how dedicated he is to his profession and to his football club.’

Source: Daily Mail

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