Mo Farahs heartbreaking story of childhood and illegal immigration in full

Sir Mo Farahis set to release aBBC documentary detailing his heartbreaking childhoodand illegal immigration to the UK.

The team GB athlete, 39, said "the truth is I’m not who you think I am," adding he needs to tell his real story "whatever the cost”, in The Real Mo Farah which is set to release on BBC and iPlayer later this week.

Sir Mo, who was born as Hussein Abdi Kahin in Somaliland, said “despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK”.

His father was killed in a civil war when he was four, and he was then separated from his mother.

The athlete said he was then “brought into the UK illegally under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah”.

He said he thought he was going to Europe to live with relatives and recalled going through a UK passport check under the guise of Mohamed at the age of nine.

Sir Mo explained: "I had all the contact details for my relative and once we got to her house, the lady took it off me and right in front of me ripped them up and put it in the bin and at that moment I knew I was in trouble."

The athlete travelled back to his childhood home in Hounslow recalling "not great memories" where he was not treated as part of the family.

"If I wanted food in my mouth my job was to look after those kids, shower them, cook for them, clean for them, and she said, ‘If you ever want to see your family again, don’t say anything. If you say anything, they will take you away’.”

For the first few years the family didn't allow him to go to school, but when he was about 12 he enrolled in Year 7 at Feltham Community College where staff were told Sir Mo was a refugee from Somalia.

During his time at school his PE teacher Alan Watkinson, noticed a transformation in the young boy when he hit the athletics track.

Sir Mo added that the only thing he could do in those situations “in my control” was “get out and run”.

His PE teacher contacted social services and helped Sir Mo to be fostered by another Somali family.

“I still missed my real family, but from that moment everything got better,” Sir Mo said.

“I felt like a lot of stuff was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like me. That's when Mo came out – the real Mo.”

Mr Watkinson then helped him apply for British citizenship under the name Mohamed Farah, which was granted in July 2000.

Sir Mo spoke out about his childhood and said: “For years I just kept blocking it out. But you can only block it out for so long.”

The Real Mo Farah will air at 6am on BBC iPlayer and 9pm on BBC One on July 13.


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