HARTLEPOOL United ace Nobby Solano has spoken for the first time about the rape allegation which almost wrecked his career.
The Peruvian, who linked up with Pools in the summer after a short spell with Hull City, was quizzed by police in April last year after a 22-year-old woman alleged she had been raped.
The allegations were eventually dismissed by police, allowing the 36-year-old to continue with his glittering career.
Speaking for the first time about the allegations to a national newspaper, Solano said: “You have to accept that as a professional footballer, you must deal with some things.
“It was difficult because as soon as the allegation was made, I wanted to go onto my rooftop with a microphone and tell everybody this was not true.
“It was not fair. People who really know me know that I would not have been involved in something like that.”
As the South American waited to have his name cleared, he admitted the phone call to his mother to tell her what was going on was “difficult”.
He added: “The news soon got to Peru and my mum Janet rang me.
“This was the most difficult conversation I have ever had.
“But life carries on, and the truth came out.”
Solano, who started his career in his native Peru before moving to Argentina, where he played with Diego Maradona, and then to Newcastle United, has quickly settled into life in League One with high-flying Pools.
His performances so far this season have been one of the main reasons behind Pools’ lofty league position, and he admits he is loving life on Clarence Road.
He added: “I signed a one-year contract, I knew this would be my last year and I told Mick Wadsworth that when I signed.
“It would be nice if I could end my career by helping a north- east team to promotion.
“The more north you go from London, the greater the passion for football.
“Up here for the fans, it’s football, drink, football, drink, party.
“It would be an amazing achievement if we could get promotion. To be seventh at this stage of the season is encouraging.”
Solano and his Pools team-mates travel to Notts County tomorrow for a fixture which is being broadcast live on Sky Sports.
l See SportMail for a big-match preview.