Wayne Rooney has revealed how he wouldn’t leave the house and drink alcohol as a ‘release’ during the early stages of his career.
One of England’s greatest players made his senior debut for Everton at 16 before signing for Manchester United aged 18 in 2004.
Rooney had a very high profile in the game at such a young age and it seems as though it came at a cost as he broke onto the scene.
When opening up to former Leeds Rhino star Rob Burrow on the BBC’s The Total Sport podcast, he revealed: “My release was alcohol when I was in my early 20s.
“I’d go home, and spend a couple of days at home and not leave the house. I’d drink almost until I’d pass out.
“I didn’t want to be around people, because sometimes you feel embarrassed. Sometimes you feel like you’ve let people down and ultimately I didn’t know how else to deal with it.
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“When you don’t take the help and guidance of others, you can be really in a low place, and I was for a few years with that. Thankfully, now I’m not afraid to go and speak to people about issues.”
Rooney is the first guest on the new series titled Seven that is launched by former Rhinos star Burrow and his wife Lindsey.
Burrow was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease [MND] in 2019 and uses AI technology to communicate with a computerised voice.
He was awarded in MBE for his services to Rugby League and the MND community, with Rooney left inspired by him: “I know first hand the impact this [illness] can have on yourself and people around you.
“Everyone must change the way of living and I had that with my sister-in-law, who suffered not the same illness but something as severe.
“But your energy and positivity helps everyone else around you. I can see the money you have raised for charity and to help others – it’s really inspiring.”
Rooney, now Birmingham City manager, saw his most notable spell during his playing career come at United as he scored 253 goals in 559 appearances, making him their all-time top scorer.
He won five Premier League titles, the Champions League and the FA Cup at Old Trafford, and netted 53 goals in 120 England appearances.