Everton’s England midfielder Dele Alli said in an interview on Thursday that he was recently released from rehab for sleeping pill addiction after battling the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.
Dele Alli told Gary Neville on ‘The Overlap’ podcast how the former England football hopeful, now 27, dealt with drugs at the age of eight before being adopted by a new family at the age of 12.
“At the age of six, I was touched by my mother’s friend who used to come over. My mother was an alcoholic,” says Alli. “Then I was sent to Africa (with his father) to learn discipline and then they sent me back to England. I started smoking at the age of sevenAt eight o’clock, drug dealing”.
I was hiding drugs and I was eight years old
“An adult told me they wouldn’t stop a kid on a bike, so I was kicking my soccer ball up and down. I hid drugs, I was eight years old“, details of Champions League 2019 final against England 2017 vice-champion and Tottenham.
English international (37 caps), a key part of the England team that reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, Alli then moved away from Spurs and spent last season on loan at Besiktas before attempting a return to Everton.
“I was adopted into a wonderful family at the age of twelve, and I couldn’t have asked for better people to take care of me,” she continued.
Sleeping pill addiction
Alli, who chose to speak out in the hope of helping other sufferers, also warned of the dangers of sleeping pill addiction in football, where players are often prescribed the pills before and after matches.
“I created Addiction to sleeping pills And maybe it’s a problem that’s not just me, I think it’s more widespread in football than people think,” he said, explaining that he underwent six weeks of drug treatment.
“Go Rehabilitation It’s definitely scary, but I couldn’t have imagined how much I’ll grow and it will help me mentally,” said the 27-year-old midfielder.
Lots of support
The Englishman’s touching confession sparked a wave of reactions in England. Starting with his current club, Everton, they sent him a message of support.
“Everyone at Everton respects and admires Deal’s courage,” the club wrote in a statement, while explaining that no interviews related to his recovery would be given to protect his privacy.
His former Tottenham team-mate and England captain Harry Kane also praised his friend’s courage on Twitter: “So proud of @dele_official for sharing his experience to try and help others”.
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