Ex-Red Danny Murphy speaks about mental health issues

Ex-Red Danny Murphy speaks about mental health issues

Ex-Red Danny Murphy speaks about mental health issues

The former midfielder has opened up about his battles with mental health and drug addiction after retiring from football.

Danny Murphy has become the latest ex-footballer to reveal they suffered mental health problems after retiring from the game, in a recent interview with the Ben Heath podcast.

Speaking on the show, Murphy revealed that he had struggled to adapt to life outside of football, and was at one point addicted to drugs.

"When you don't have football, problems become huge. When you play football, the adrenaline and dopamine, all these things keep you forward-thinking and energetic."

"I had a spell on cocaine and smoking some weed. The drink, I could live without it. I wasn't an alcoholic. I could sit in a house with alcohol and not drink it."

Asked directly if he was addicted to cocaine, Murphy replied,

"For a while I was. I got to the point where I thought I couldn't do things without it. Which was nonsense, of course, I could.  You manage it initially, you might do it once a week, twice a week, give yourself an extra third day. Eventually, it builds up and grabs hold of you."

Murphy later went on to say that he had a "year of being in a world of pain", after initially retiring from football, but that with help he had made himself a better person.

Many players suffer problems after retiring

Danny Murphy is not the first Liverpool player to admit to mental health problems, with ex-goalkeeper Chris Kirkland campaigning for better awareness of men's mental health, after admitting that he became addicted to pain-killers for nearly 10 years, as he struggled with multiple back problems, former Everton and Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli recently spoke about being addicted to sleeping pills.

And Murphy says that he was "amazed" by how many players reached out to him to share their stories or seek help.

Recent studies have shown that as many as 35% of retired footballers suffer from anxiety or depression, with many going on to develop long-term problems with drink and drugs.  And for many, the problems develop in the years leading up to retirement, as they face the challenge of what to do once their player days finish.

Thankfully, mental health issues are no longer the taboo subject they once were, with the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) having a dedicated team to support player well-being. And with high-profile players, such as Murhpy, Kirkland, and Alli sharing their experiences, hopefully, more players can access the support they need to stop them turning to drink and drugs.

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Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 546

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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