MANCHESTER United legend Wayne Rooney admitted he would drink booze until passing out at the height of his battle with alcoholism.
Rooney, 38, opened up about his battle with alcohol during the early stages of his playing days as his coping mechanism during his illustrious career. The 120-time England international made his Premier League debut at Everton aged just 16.
He then made the £27 million move to Old Trafford in 2004 at 18, and became a footballing superstar so young after an impressive debut England tournament at Euro 2004. But he revealed his journey to becoming United and England’s all-time record goal scorer was fraught in the beginning.
Rooney spoke to ex-rugby league star and Motor Neurone Disease campaigner Rob Burrow’s podcast, Seven, where the Leeds Rhino icon, who uses AI technology and a computerised voice with a Yorkshire accent to communicate, and his wife Lindsey interview sporting stars. The Birmingham City boss admitted he’d drink to deal with the pressure on him during the early stages of his career.
Rooney said: “My release was alcohol when I was in my early 20s. I’d drink almost until I’d pass out. I didn’t want to be around people, because sometimes you feel embarrassed.
“You feel like you’ve let people down and ultimately I didn’t know how else to deal with it. When you don’t take the help and guidance of others, you can be really in a low place, and I was for a few years with that. Thankfully, now I’m not afraid to go and speak to people about issues.”
Rooney told Burrow’s how the former England and Great Britain representative’s spirit had been an inspiration to him and other, he added: “I know first-hand the impact this [illness] can have on yourself and people around you.
“Everyone must change the way of living and I had that with my sister-in-law, who suffered not the same illness but something as severe. But your energy and positivity helps everyone else around you, I can see the money you have raised for charity and to help others, it’s really inspiring.” — Daily Star.