Benni McCarthy: My friend became Cape Town's No.1 drug lord
The former South Africa international, who scored 32 goals for Bafana Bafana, was robbed at gunpoint while getting his hair cut in Johannesburg on Wednesday, with thieves taking his watch, earrings and wedding ring.
I was earning massive money as a footballer but I couldn't afford the house that Gavin lived in
McCarthy – FourFourTwo's One-on-One interviewee in the June 2015 issue – available now – managed to steer clear of serious trouble growing up, but has revealed how his class-mate Gavin "became the top dog".
"It's true," he told FFT. "He was my mate and in my class at school.
"He was bullied as a kid because he was small, quiet and a good-looking boy. I was the school's soccer star and he hung out with me a bit to be on the safe side.
"At grade six he grew quickly – and he wasn't small anymore. He started hanging out with the wrong crowd and became an infamous drug lord.
"I met his brother years later and he said: 'Gavin tells all his friends about you; he'd love to see you.' I went to see Gavin on my next trip to Cape Town. I was earning massive money but I couldn't afford the house that Gavin lived in.
"It was like something out of a movie: a mansion with rottweilers and bodyguards holding guns.
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"The skinny little lad had become the top dog. He was a friend, but their line of work had no place in my life – I don't like to have to look over my shoulder."
Interview: Andy Mitten.
Read the full interview with Benni in the June 2015 issue of FourFourTwo, out now in shops and on iPad. We chat with Spurs' goal-getting PFA award winner Harry Kane, look at a divisive decade of the Glazers at Manchester United and revisit the Miracle of Istanbul as told by the fans 10 years on.