Tony Adams has opened up about his devastating battle with alcoholism in his new autobiography: Sober.

  • Adams’ autobiography is being serialised in the S*n
  • The former player has been sober since 1996
  • Ex-defender is now Granada manager

During one excerpt from Adams’ new book, Sober, the former Arsenal captain speaks about a four-day bender, which made him realise that he couldn’t go on the way he had been.

“On the Wednesday, I went to a restaurant and nightclub in Chelsea called Barbarella’s and got smashed. I can’t remember where I stayed. I do remember p****** and s****** in my pants, peeling them off and going out again,” he admitted.

“I remember bits about the Thursday. I went to a strip club off Piccadilly. I would get girls there. You could take them off somewhere and pay them. I was drinking with twin girls.

“It sounds glamorous — all sex and drugs and rock’n’roll — but it wasn’t. It was all s*** and passing out.

“I was completely lost. The alcohol wasn’t working for me any more and nor was the sex. Nothing was.”

In 1996, Adams got sober after 12 years of uncontrollable drinking and other unhealthy behaviours, which was easier said than done considering the football industry at the time.

In the 1990s, there was a huge drinking culture surrounding the sport.

Back then, it was a way of life, and footballers weren’t as privy to the health concerns excessive alcohol consumption can raise as they are now.

The Tuesday Club at Arsenal, for example, was introduced by manager at the time, George Graham, as a way for the team to bond outside of work.

These ‘meetings’ involved Adams, as well as Lee Dixon, Perry Groves, Paul Merson, Nigel Winterburn, and Ray Parlour.

At the time, no one believed that these sessions could ruin their health, reputation or on-pitch performances, it was just a laugh. And, for most of the players involved, they remained just that.

Obviously, now players are hung out to dry in the press (and probably by their managers) if they’re seen out drinking during the season.

Congratulations to Tony for being 21 years sober.