WAYNE ROONEY has revealed he used to spend “days at home drinking until he almost passed out”.
That’s as he struggled to cope with “challenges” while in his early 20s.
Wazza, 38, is regarded as one of England’s finest players following a stunning club and international career.
Rooney was just 16 years old when he made his Everton debut in 2002.
And when he was 18, the striker was snapped up by Manchester United in a then-record £27million move.
Rooney spent 13 years at Old Trafford before finishing his playing career with spells at Everton, DC United and Derby.
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But despite winning five titles and a Champions League, he has now revealed his struggles in the early days at Old Trafford.
Talking to rugby league legend Rob Burrows, the now-Birmingham boss explained how he’d turn to booze to cope with the pressure of playing for United.
Off-field challenges were also present for Rooney at the time.
And he bravely lifted the lid on how he attempted to numb the pain by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.
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Rooney said: “I’ve had many different challenges, both on the pitch and off the pitch, and my release was alcohol.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
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