From hero to zero: The rise and fall of Boris Becker

Friday May 13 2022
Becker pic

Boris Becker will serve at least 18 months in prison before being considered for parole.

By Freddy Macha

I had not watched television for a couple of days. Looking at the newspapers (a habit of any journalist), I skimmed through the headline about the sudden rise in the cost of living. That recession was on a ten percent shoot. Inflation floating up hills of our lives as has never been witnessed for 40 years. But then another part of the roving eye caught a glorious photograph on the same front page. A black woman. Sunglasses. Faded blue jacket. Long legs, white trainers, long hair, draped like branches of the weeping willow tree past her shoulders. She had a PUMA bag. Her other hand dangled a mobile phone, half bent talking. The huge caption read: “ Lover’s visit to Becker Behind Bars.” And indicated further info on centre pages.

Boris Becker in jail?

This is May 2022.

And the mind drifted and flew back to mid 1980s. Back in Germany. Those days, called West Germany. The biggest star of the times was a 17-year-old wunderkind suddenly ushered and rocketed globally. Germany as proud as can be. It was 1985, 1986, and Boris Becker becomes darling of the nation. From then on it was all about BB.

I had a zealous neighbour who christened her cat Boris. Yes. Folks, this was before Boris Johnson.

Boris Becker became a world tennis star. In recent years he became one of the well known BBC pundits and analysts for international tennis tournaments. Now based in London. Wikipedia even says he was (or is ) worth $25 million, and 14th in world rankings, which, as we read this prison yarn, is a pipe dream since Becker is allegedly, and actually, bankrupt. For sometime, he has been chased by legal institutions and, finally, here he is, in a London penitentiary.


Please, read:

“Disgraced tennis star Boris Becker received his first prison visitor yesterday – his girlfriend Lillian de Carvalho Monteiro. Her face hidden behind large sunglasses and a baseball cap, and sporting long hair extensions, Miss Monteiro arrived at Wandsworth jail in South London bearing supplies for three time Wimbledon champion, including work boots. merged yesterday that Becker who was jailed for two years and six months ...for hiding 2.5 million pounds, after being declared bankrupt, may be deported to Germany when freed.”


Goes that triumphant tale of this era. The rise and fall of a former sports icon, Boris Becker. Behind this prison fracas are two marriages and several children with three different women. Boris is as interesting as he is a flawed genius.

Maybe one day he will publish an autobiography. Maybe the book will be made into an interesting film. Why? No explanation. It is called LIFE.


Hear. Here.

We are reminded that going up may be easy, maybe hard, maybe similar to tripping and toppling across stairs of tragedy. Stars or the rich and famous attract our attention. Teach us a lesson. That having money is one thing. How to handle and manage money is another issue altogether.

Listen to the African American actor Will Smith : “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

While this beloved athlete languishes in a London cell, there is another one. Not a celebrity but notoriety. Famous killers. Infamous imprisonment. Two brothers and a mother.

In 2007, a London toddler only known as Baby P rocked the nation. The poor boy was found dead with at least 50 injuries. Her mother and boyfriend (and his brother) were jailed for the murder. Government officials were also found responsible and the media chased the story for ages.

This month the mother of Baby P was released from prison after being locked up since 2009. There has been an uproar. Her toddler son really suffered. Tracey Connelly was found to be negligent, and it has been alleged she was always drunk or high on drugs. She also liked to watch pornographic videos with her boyfriend while tormenting the child.

A gloomy, myopic episode that mirrors some of the unfairness and contradictions in the legal justice here.

How can Connelly be let out of prison? They say she will be reporting to the police and wear an electronic tag. Her use of the internet and phone shall also be monitored.

Meanwhile, as you walk around London you notice the common thread. Taking drugs and alcohol as common as sipping tea and coffee. People love to glorify intoxicants and stimulants as a remedy for stress and hardships. Likewise, for watching porn which is on the rise globally. As relationships become harder, people find pleasure in gadgets, toxins, toys and machines.