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Anthony Stokes: Judge me on my performances, not my personal life

The 32-year-old Irish striker has returned to the Scottish Premiership by joining Livingston.

Anthony Stokes is back in the Scottish Premiership, having left Hibernian in January 2018.
Anthony Stokes is back in the Scottish Premiership, having left Hibernian in January 2018.
Image: Alan Rennie

IRISH STRIKER ANTHONY Stokes has insisted that “off-the-field issues” shouldn’t interfere with his career as a footballer. 

Two-and-a-half years since his third spell with Hibernian came to an end, Stokes has returned to the Scottish Premiership by signing a one-year contract at Livingston.

After starting his career at Arsenal, the Dubliner went on to win four consecutive Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic. He was also capped nine times by the Republic of Ireland at senior level.

However, incidents away from the football pitch have resulted in several court appearances for the 32-year-old, who’s in contention to make his Livingston debut at home to Ross County tomorrow.

“Throughout my career there have always been off-the-field issues,” Stokes said ahead of the game, as reported by the BBC. “I think a lot of the time they can be blown out of proportion as well. There has been bits and pieces but I always think I performed on the pitch.

“My job here is to come and play football. It’s nothing to do with my personal life or me as a person. I’m here to do a job, act as professionally as I can around the club and on the pitch, score goals and help Livingston as much as I can.

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“In my head, that’s all I’m focusing on and that’s all I’m worried about. I just hope I’m judged on the pitch and on my performances.

“Everything outside of football, that’s my personal life and that’s for me to deal with and take on board myself. I need to come here and prove myself in football terms and that’s what I plan to do.”

After leaving Hibs in January 2018, Stokes had spells in Greece, Turkey and Iran, with his time at Iranian side Persepolis cut short earlier this year by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Having taken just two points from their opening five games, Livingston currently sit at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table.

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