LADbible http://www.ladbible.com/assets/images/theme/logo.svg

The former England international turns 50 this month and has gone on ITV's Good Morning Britain to talk about his troubled past.

Affectionately known as Gazza, the Gateshead-born midfielder first entered therapy in 1998 after downing 32 shots of whiskey.

He's struggled with alcoholism for years, and was even sent to the US for treatment. It's an issue which has exacerbated his mental health as he's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has had issues with self-harm.

After several arrests for drink driving, assault and possession of drugs during the last decade, it was announced at the start of this year that he had entered another rehab centre to stay alcohol free for the rest of 2017.

Credit: ITV

The national icon says it was particularly hard to deal with the death of his nephew Jay Kerrigan, who passed away in May 2016 following his own battle with drug addition, aged just 22 years old.

Gazza told GMB: "I haven't had the best of years and I was doing really well until Jay. He wasn't in a good way. I've just had a terrible year. I've had these blips and things got the better of me.

"Then I had these tours and the drink got the better of me."

Paul carrying Jay's coffin following the funeral. Credit: PA

The interview saw Gazza sporting a bandage on his hand, having helped his neighbours fend off burglars in April. Spotting two thieves trying to break into a flat near his home, the former footballer confronted them - but he was smacked in the face, fell and injured his hand.

Paul's appearance on GMB was an incredible show of honesty for a man whose private life has been very public. His fans rallied behind him on social media to let him know he's not alone:

He appeared on the program last year where he again opened up about his addictions. He told the hosts: "When I have this obsession to drink, it gets really too much, and I think, 'If I just get a drink and get it away' and then by that time I'm in a blackout, and I forget what's happening."

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which will feature a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp