Graham Rix began his footballing career back in 1974 as an apprentice with Arsenal. He made his debut for the first team in April 1977 and quickly became a regular fixture becoming captain in 1983. His career at Arsenal faltered when a series of injuries kept him sidelined and he was finally released from the club.
Rix continued to play football for smaller clubs before becoming Chelsea youth team coach in 1993 and then being promoted to Assistant Manager under Rudd Gullit in 1996. His career seemed to be going from strength to strength until allegations arose concerning Rix having sex with an underage girl aged 15.
Rix admitted to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse and in March 1999 he was convicted receiving a 12 month prison sentence. Rix was 41 years old at the time and had been married for 17 years when he had sex with the 15 year old whom he met in a West London Hotel.
Surprisingly on completion of 6 months of his prison sentence Rix was released and immediately rejoined Chelsea in his previous capacity. After leaving Chelsea Rix sought other management roles until finally hitting the headlines after landing a high profile move to Hearts in November 2005 as Head Coach. Rix’s appointment brought avid protests from the Hearts faithful culminating in such a furore of disgust that former Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer made a public statement claiming “Graham Rix should be judged solely on his coaching ability”. Sadly for Rix he was subsequently judged on his coaching ability and duly sacked after just four months in the job.
Graham Rix therefore enters our Sex Scandals Hall of Shame for his underage sex antics. His crime is still one that shakes football fans into a rage of condemnation seven years on. However for me the most surprising fact emerging from his story is that Chelsea received him back with open arms on completion of his sentence. I know morality doesn’t play much of a part in football these days but a conviction for having sex with an underage girl is surely a step too far even for a club with dubious morals such as Chelsea.