MOSES ODUBAJO has all the trappings of a Premier League footballer.
Money, fame…being recognized as one of England’s most promising youngsters in the top flight.
But the Hull City defender takes none of it for granted.
For England Under 20 star Moses and his brother Tom, who plays for Grimsby, were just 13 and 15 respectively when they lost mum Esther to malaria.
And the teenage boys were left to fend for themselves in an inner city London council flat.
It meant often scrounging £2 school lunches or eating at friends’ homes.
Moses recalled: “They were tough times but we never felt sorry for ourselves, that’s not the way mum raised us. She just got on with life, so we did too.
“There was no way we wanted to be separated in children’s or foster homes. We wanted to stay together so we managed to hide what was going on from everyone, including teachers.”
Moses is thought to earn £40,000 with The Tigers. But not so long ago his stepdad took to visiting the boys once a week to drop off the Family Allowance of £20.
He also paid rent, council tax and electric but the boys had to cover food and gas.
Brother Idris, who was 19 and had left home, helped out but took Esther’s death so hard he turned to crime and got two years for robbery.
Tom earned £300 a month at Barnet FC’s academy but Moses “lost interest in everything”.
He said: “Tom looked after the money. If I’d ask to go somewhere and he said we didn’t have the money, I wouldn’t go.
“If the gas meter ran out, it ran out. We’d fling extra jumpers on because we’d rather eat.”
In 2009 Moses won a youth scholarship at Leyton Orient and graduated to the senior squad in 2010.
He went to Championship side Brentford four years later for a rumoured £1million before joining Hull for £3.5m on a three-year deal.
He now lives in Leeds but has never forgotten his roots, saving cash and making investments because “a career in football is short”.