Wayne Rooney has admitted he would drink beer until he passed out, in order to deal with the stress of playing professional football in his early 20s as he struggled during his career.
Throughout his struggles on and off the game, 38-year-old Rooney revealed that his “release was alcohol” on a recent podcast hosted by former rugby league player Rob Burrow.
“When I was in my early 20s, I’d spend a couple of days at home and wouldn’t move out of the house and drink almost until I passed out,” the former England striker said.
“I didn’t want to be around people because sometimes you feel embarrassed and sometimes you feel like you’ve let people down.”
“Ultimately I didn’t know how else to deal with it, so I chose alcohol to try and help me get through that,” Rooney added.
“There were people there for me to speak to but I chose not to do that and tried to deal with it myself.”
“When you do that and don’t take the help and guidance of others, you can really be in a low place and I was for a few years with that.”
“Thankfully now I am not afraid to go and speak to people over some issues which I may have.”
At the age of 16, the current manager of Birmingham City made his Premier League debut for Everton in 2002.
Two years later, for a then-record £27 million, he moved to Manchester United.
Rooney leads Manchester United’s all-time goal scorer with 53 goals for his country, England.
Before making his debut for Everton, DC United, and Derby, he played for 13 years at Old Trafford.
During his new seven-part podcast series, rugby veteran Burrow and his wife Lindsey will be interviewing notable athletes such as Jonny Wilkinson and Dame Kelly Holmes.
Burrow employs “eye gaze” technology to question his podcast guests using artificial intelligence (AI) and a computerised voice for communication.
In addition, Rooney mentioned his wife Coleen’s sister Rosie, who passed away at the age of 14 from Rett syndrome and commended Burrow for his “inspiring” approach to managing motor neuron illness.
“I know first-hand the impact this can have on yourself and the people closest to you,” Rooney said.
“Everyone has to change the way of living and I had that with my sister-in-law who suffered not the same illness, but something as severe.”
“Your energy and you staying strong really helps everyone around you. I will always be here, and your family and close friends will always be there, to help you with whatever you need.”