Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams has shared his troubles with mental illness.
• Adams suffered with alcoholism during his playing days
• He recalls moments of self-abuse
• Wants to reach out to young players and help them with addictions
Tony Adams said that his own appearance caused him to have mental breakdowns last year, and that he still had demons from his struggles with alcohol.
“I looked in the mirror and saw my dad. I had a beard and glasses and looked more like him than me. It was scary,” he said.
“I don’t let go of anything. I have to go from one emotional breakdown to the next, one painful experience to the next.”
The story comes almost two decades after the release of his autobiography, Addicted, which detailed the addictions he had while playing for Arsenal.
He recalls an episode of self-harm during that time.
“I used to smash bottles on my head, form of self-abuse. Self-destruction button. Didn’t like myself, big nose, big ears, gangly, fear, insecurity.”
Thankfully, Adams was able to get the help he needed to overcome his addictions.
Despite his continuing struggles, he wants to reach out to young sportsman through his charity, Sporting Chance, and ensure they don’t make the same mistakes he did.
“You give a 19-year-old £400,000 a year, I know what I would do at that age — sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. They just go bonkers with it,” he said.
Adams has had an interesting professional career since his playing days and has recently found himself as head coach of Granada in Spain.
Although his recent comments about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have been controversial, one hopes he continues to be in good health.