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Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Dickov speaks about La Manga case

Paul Dickov
Dickov said the case had made him a stronger person

Leicester City striker Paul Dickov has spoken for the first time about the allegations of serious sexual misconduct he faced in Spain in 2004.

Dickov, then in his first spell at the Foxes, along with Keith Gillespie and Frank Sinclair, were accused by three women at the La Manga resort.

He told BBC Radio Leicester: "It has made me a stronger person. That was the darkest period of my career."

All charges against Dickov, Gillespie and Sinclair were subsequently dropped.

A Spanish judge dismissed the case two months after the allegations were made.

Dickov said: "It started out with about eight lads involved too, so it wasn't just me going through it.

"Fortunately the football club were great and I'm lucky I have a good family behind me and good friends who believed in me from day one.

"I knew I was 100% innocent, so it was just a matter of time, but unfortunately it's the world we live in now.

"It made me stronger as a person. I realised who my friends were, but you come through it because you believe in yourself.

"The accusations were completely untrue and ultimately it makes you a stronger person."

Dickov, who re-joined Leicester in the summer, is enjoying his second spell at the Walkers Stadium, and is looking forward to getting fully fit after a serious back injury.

Leicester are flying high in League One and are on the brink of an immediate return to the Championship.

The 36-year-old striker's contract expires at the end of next season and he says he is keen to get into the coaching side of the game.

"I feel fit and sharp again. I was worried, my back injury was so bad I couldn't feel parts of my leg at one stage, but I was assured by the surgeon I'd be back playing again and I was delighted about that.

"I want to play for as long as I can. I'm fit now and I've got another year here.

"But I'm doing my coaching badges and that's something I'd like to do. There are no guarantees, but I hope to be able to do something.

"It's been fantastic being at Leicester this season, the manager and the players must all take an awful lot of credit for the position the club finds itself in.

"They have responded to every little obstacle placed in front of them."



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