Wayne Rooney to discuss his battle with mental health in new documentary
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Wayne Rooney has opened up on his difficulties with alcohol during his glittering career at Manchester United. Rooney left United as the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 253 strikes to his name. But it was not always plain sailing for the former striker.
Rooney won five Premier League titles and a Champions League winners medal during his 13-year spell at Old Trafford.
He will be remembered as one of the greatest players in the club’s illustrious history.
But he has now revealed the many dark times he had before the birth of his first child Kai in 2009.
In an interview with The Times, Rooney explained how he would shut himself away and turn to alcohol during his tough moments.
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“Really, I locked myself away,” the Derby County boss said.
“There were times you’d get a couple of days off from football and I would actually lock myself away and just drink, to try to take all that away from my mind.
“People might know I liked a drink at times or went out, but there was a lot more to it than just that. It was what was going on in my head.”
Rooney said the pressure of playing for a club the size of United as well as being one of England’s brightest talents weighed heavily on him.
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He continued: “[The drinking was] like a binge, but normally that’s with a group of lads — this was a self-binge basically, which helps you forget things but when you come out of it, you are going back to work and it is still there, so it was doing more damage than good.
“It was just a build-up of everything, pressure of playing for your country, playing for Manchester United, the pressure of some of the stuff that came out about my personal life, just trying to deal with all that pressure which builds up.
“Growing up on a council estate, you would never actually go and speak to anyone. You would always find a way to deal with it yourself.
“It was trying to cope with it yourself rather than asking for help.”
Rooney said he spoke to nobody at United about his problems, including manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
He reflected: “No. Back then, you just didn’t speak about it. I’m sure he probably knew. I never spoke to him or any of my teammates about it.
“Now, people would be more empowered to speak about that kind of thing.”
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