Former footballer Kenny Sansom has been in and out of the headlines over the past few years due to his crippling addiction that looked to have beaten him completely. He was photographed slumped in a park with a bottle of alcohol and has been in and out of rehab numerous times, seemingly always falling back off the waggon. However, it now appears as though his latest attempt at alcohol treatment is working and he is now trying hard to finally get his life back on track.
In an interview with the Croydon Advertiser, Kenny has spoken about how he is working hard to put his life right after hitting rock bottom and feeling suicidal. The ex-football star admits he has not had a drink for over five weeks (at the time of this writing) and believes he may now be able to turn his life around.
A Life Destroyed by Alcohol
Despite being a gifted footballer, Kennys addiction to alcohol has seen him fall on hard times. He was earning good money at the height of his career, but his addictions to both alcohol and gambling have left him penniless. He lost his home, his marriage and his money because of his addictions and admits that he now has to take the bus to get anywhere because it is cheaper than taking a train.
Kenny is not the only footballer to succumb to addiction after his career began to wind down. Many of them replace the time they would normally spend training with drinking or gambling as they struggle to adjust to life after football. Unfortunately for Kenny, both gambling and drinking became devastating addictions that almost destroyed his life. He said, I lived day-to-day with drinking, now I have to live day-to-day without it. When you first finish your career, you feel relieved, because you think you don’t have to get up for training anymore. Then my drinking got stronger and affected my life. I don’t know why it started to get stronger; maybe it was because I wasn’t playing football. There were loads of low points, lots of things going wrong and I was doing the wrong things gambling and drinking in public. They were massive addictions. They used to call it an illness, I never called it an illness, but I definitely know they’re addictive I would encourage teenagers to stay away from both.”
Kenny admits to drinking up to nine bottles of wine per day at the height of his illness. He also said that whatever money he had would be spent on fruit machines. He said, “Personally, I think gambling is worse than drinking. I say that because if you gamble all your money, you can’t buy a drink. I say it as a joke, but if you go into a betting shop with £200 and spend every penny, then walk into Tesco, you can’t buy a drink. I never bet on the horses; it was always the fruit machines. When I was on those machines, it was like I was in a phone box, all on my own. I didn’t look round to see who was about I just blocked everything out.”
After years of struggling with addiction, and after various failed attempts at alcohol treatment, Kenny finally appears to be getting his life back under control. The photographs of him lying beside a bottle of alcohol in a public park are ones that he feels ashamed of. He said, “Oh my God, those pictures are horrible. I don’t want to see photographs like that [being taken] anymore that’s for sure. I don’t want my family, friends and people who I care about seeing them. Fingers crossed I can do that [avoid drinking again and being left in a similar state].”
Sansom now believes he can manage to stay sober and admits not wanting to drink or gamble at the moment. He says he is working hard to beat both addictions, adding, I’m trying to kill two addictions. Whatever I am doing at the minute, it is working.”
After his latest stint in rehab for alcohol treatment, Kenny met a fellow recovering addict who he is now living with. He admits that this has helped because it is a source of comfort and both are trying to help each other stay sober. Kenny admits that having someone to talk to who can relate to what he is going through is a huge help. He said he does not feel lonely anymore, which is a significant advantage as loneliness is often attributed as a cause of relapse.
Sansom is now working towards repairing some of the damage caused by his addiction. He said he wants to mend relationships with family and friends. The ex-star also has plenty of opportunities as he is now working as an ambassador for one of his former clubs, Crystal Palace. In addition, he is hoping to be able to work as a pundit for Sky Sports once more, saying, “I used to do a bit of Sky. And interviews after games. I worked regularly for Sky on the Sunday mornings doing the [review of the] papers; it was my job for about two years. I’d love to go on telly and give my views.
Kenny is proof that even the most severe addictions can be beaten. If you require alcohol treatment, contact us here at UK Rehab. We are a referral service working with many organisations throughout the UK. We can ensure that no matter what your circumstances, we will find the right rehab programme to suit your needs. Call today for more information on how we can help you to overcome addiction once and for all.
Source: Ex Arsenal legend Kenny Sansom working hard to turn his life around in new role as Crystal Palace ambassador (Mirror.co.uk)