With supermarkets burning in Chile, Lawrence Vigouroux found a unique sense of perspective.
Just three months ago, in July 2019, the goalkeeper moved to Concon. Pacific the coast wants to move towards the national side.
Joining Everton de Vina del Mar after release Swindonhe was away Wiltshire but it was a move he had to make, as he was first summoned by Chile a year ago.
After five months and zero appearances, he returned to England as a changed man.
Protests sparked by a rise in train fares forced the cancellation of the Chilean Primera Division and Vigouroux. Leyton Eastfollowed by the burning of forests and the uprising of the local population.
“The government increased the price of a train ticket by about 20 pence in our money and it went crazy,” he told the PA news agency.
“They were setting supermarkets on fire and it was like, ‘Wow, I came from Camden, the most important thing I saw was someone leaving the stove on and there was a small fire in the kitchen.
“There were people protesting, they were standing in Plaza Italia, our equivalent to Trafalgar Square in Santiago. They were there for days, the police shooting people with rubber bullets. It was really scary.
“I went to visit my grandfather in Santiago. I was in the car and the forest was on fire. He was mad. Smoke everywhere, on both sides of the road, it was like I was in an Apocalypse movie. Big trees were burning on both sides, the view was stunning.
“Then when I got there it was like a battlefield. Moreover, no matter where in the world, an earthquake happens almost every few days.
“They’re not that strong but you can feel it, they’re specifically from England. It was surreal but a wonderful country.
“The constitution finally changed and I agreed with the people, because a country is only as good as the people who live in it.”
The unrest was caused by various problems, including a four percent increase in Santiago Metro metro fares and a 10 pesos hike for buses, which eventually burned 17 stations.
For a country already in a cost-of-living crisis, this was a tipping point and provided insight that shaped the situation for a young 29-year-old who once paid 5,000pence for a £50 fine on a loan from Liverpool to Swindon. career since.
“As a person, absolutely,” says Vigouroux, who has children from India, Thiago and Carmelo, with partner Shemika. “I had a lot of discipline problems when I was younger – being late or going out when I shouldn’t have.
“It helped me as a person because I love the game. It showed how much I want to be successful if I get the opportunity to come back here and not ruin anything. I felt like it was my last chance.
“I have many regrets but I wouldn’t change anything because I would have to learn anyway. The way I was was not acceptable. I learned the hard way.
“I had to travel miles away from my family to try to make a career there because nobody wanted me here.”
his return South America has been a success. Two seasons players followed the award at Brisbane Road joining the Orient in 2020 and the O’s are six points ahead at the top of the Second Division ahead of Saturday’s tour to Hartlepool.
He conceded 20 goals in 36 games – four more than any other goalkeeper in the division – and conceded only 24 times.
The irony that he experienced under the management of coach Richie Wellens, who released him in Swindon, is not lost on Vigouroux, but he is happy to play and be a father.
As someone who started his career at Brentford and Tottenham before moving to Anfield, “I got him to release me as a person, not as a player,” he says.
“I am completely different now. I’ll be the first to say I wasn’t very professional when I was younger. I don’t think you can say that now. I really wanted it to work when it arrived.
“Good because I’m going to do the school run and that’s it. Some people underestimate this. I couldn’t do that or see my kids grow up every day and be there for them every step of the way (while he was in Chile).
“When I leave here, I quit football and I’m just a father. Then I go back to the training ground to become a football player.
“I just want to be there for my kids and help them with their homework. It helps me mentally so I don’t get carried away with football.”