He said that drinking destroyed his career until he stop playing football because “nobody wanted me,” and for this reason, he was “drinking nearly every day.”
The former goalkeeper said that his problems started in 2006, when he was out of action at West Ham due to a back injury which, according to him, was the first time and was not mentally prepared for such condition.
“I was just in a dark room and drinking heavily,” he told Daily Mail.
I had no outside help. Nobody knew what was wrong with me because I never spoke about it.
“Everybody thought I was the happiest guy in the world but I would go home, shut the door and bang my head against the wall, have a few drinks to try and forget.”
He said that he took to heavy drinking thinking it would help come out of depression, but unfortunately for him, the next day “it got worse and you’re back on the drink. It doesn’t work.”
“I went into rehab because others wanted me to: my wife, my agent and my friends. I didn’t see there was anything wrong with me. That was my biggest problem.”
All the clubs he went to: Derby County and Danish side, Udense the drinking problems continued
He said he had “a lot of time on my hands. My drinking was crazy. If I hadn’t stopped, I wouldn’t be here today. I don’t feel my body would have held up to it.”
The former Northern Irish international footballer also represented Wigan Athletic and won Premier League winners medal and FA Cup with Manchester United in 2004.
The Northern Irish man also won the Greek Super League 3 times and the Greek Cup twice with Olympiacos.
He made his first debut for Northern Irland at the age of 19 in 1997 and was capped 45 times.