New Cobblers signing Adam Smith has admitted that he ‘100 per cent’ thought his career was over when he was sacked by Premier League Leicester City.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper was one of three Foxes players involved in a sordid incident on the club’s end-of-season tour to Thailand in May.
Smith, James Pearson and Tom Hopper were filmed taking part in an orgy in Bangkok, in which a local woman was at one point racially abused.
The player is full of remorse, saying he is ‘deeply ashamed’ at what he did, and admits he thought he was going to have to look for a new career.
The trio were sent home from the tour in disgrace, and were then sacked by Leicester City, whose billionaire owners Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his son Aiyawatt are from Thailand.
Smith admits that at that point, he thought his career in football was over before it had even really started.
“I 100 per cent did, 100 per cent,” said a contrite Smith, when asked if he the thought had crossed his mind that he may never get back into football again.
“I thought I was gone, and I was thinking the worst-case scenario.”
Smith also recalled what it was like for him in the days after the orgy story breaking in the Sunday Mirror.
“I couldn’t leave my house really, because there were people outside trying to take photos, and I felt so ashamed,” he said.
“It was horrible, and I wouldn’t put anybody through that. It was a mistake, and I regretted it the next morning.
“Obviously I am going to get asked about it, but the less I hear about it the better, and I can hopefully move on with my career here at Northampton.”
As well as the fact the trio took part in the orgy, there was also a racist element to the incident, with one of the women involved being abused.
Smith was not the player to make the comment, and he is keen to stress he is not a racist person.
“I know the club here do a lot with anti-racism, and I am willing to get involved in stuff like that,” said the Sunderland-born player.
“The way the papers said it, it came out as if all three of us are racist, but it was one comment, and it wasn’t made by me.
“I don’t want that floating above my head, but if I have to do anti-racism work to prove that, then I’ll do that.”
Smith has now signed a two-year deal with the Cobblers, and he is thankful his career is not over.
He has been given a second chance at Northampton, and for that he owes a debt of gratitude to Town boss Chris Wilder.
“The manager has taken the chance,” said Smith.
“He could get bad publicity from it for signing me, but I am so grateful he has signed me.
“Now it is down to me to repay him for that.
“We both know it was a mistake, and a mistake I have learned from.
“It’s certainly not going to happen again, because the past two or three weeks have been horrible. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”