Revitalised midfielder Mo Diame has admitted that the passing of his father has motivated him to find his best form for Newcastle, with him revealing how he now feels responsible to provide for his Mum and siblings after his passing.
As revealed by the Mirror, Mo’s father, Adama, passed away when he was just 13 and the former Senegalese international has admitted that he uses him as his inspiration before each game – especially when he’s struggling.
Here’s what he had to say in an emotional interview this week:
“When he passed away, I thought of the future and what my mother was doing to look after us. She was bringing in the money.
“You have to realise you become a man, with responsibility. I was young, and my sister and brother too. When I saw my little brother and my mum by herself, it was difficult, a tough moment.
“For five months, I lost my football — I wasn’t the same player. I said I had to do it for him. I am proud to secure the best life for my family.
“Before every single game, I have this moment when I think about him. Then after, I’ll play my game, and that’s it. It’s become something.”
Diame then addressed his performances since arriving on Tyneside, accepting that he had been well below his best prior to his recent rise to form:
“I was the first one who knew I wasn’t delivering, that I wasn’t playing my best football.
“There are hard moments when you’re not at your best. I’m 30 now but I still feel I’ve no problems physically.
“I am really focused and ready for everything.”
In fairness, he would be the first to tell you that he’d been well below his best for his first year and a half on Tyneside, however his performances over the past few months really have seen him win fans over.
He’s looked a different player and a monster in midfield, winning his battles, looking fitter, stronger and far more confident on the ball.
Hats off to Mo – he’s done himself proud the way he’s turned things around over the last few months.