Despite the glitz, glamour and gigantic pay cheques that are often attached to modern football, one former Liverpool player has experienced the dark side of the game.
Speaking with BBC Sport, Chris Kirkland has opened up on his addiction to painkillers: ‘You wake up thinking about it. Needing it. You plan when you’re going to take more and when you need to get more tablets. If you’re thinking about it first thing in the morning and last thing at night, you are addicted and you need help.
‘Nobody knew and you lie. It was easy for me because I was travelling to and from Sheffield and I just kept them in the car. You are sneaky and you don’t mean to hurt people but it’s the addiction’.
The 41-year-old spent five years as a Red, making a total of 45 appearances and keeping 13 clean sheets under Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez.
It’s obviously very sad that the financial benefits that his career in football provided him and his family, couldn’t provide enough joy to ward the goalkeeper away from his addiction.
This must be a terrible situation for the former Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday man and let’s hope this can all find a happy conclusion, now that he has tackled his problem head on.
Well done to the Leicestershire-born former stopper for being so public with his struggles and let’s hope it can inspire someone else to overcome their addictions.