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‘I was lying on the floor crying’ - Heskey opens up on six months of depression following Liverpool move

18:31 BST 10/09/2019
Emile Heskey,Liverpool
The former England striker has discussed his struggles with mental health after leaving his hometown for Merseyside

Emile Heskey has opened up on his battle with depression following his move from Leicester City to Liverpool.

He joined the Reds in 2000, five years after making his debut for hometown club Leicester City, becoming Liverpool’s record signing at the time.

Heskey went on to win several trophies at the club in the most successful spell of his career as a footballer, but he initially struggled with homesickness after arriving on Merseyside.

“It lasted six months,” Heskey told The Guardian. “I had to grow up very quickly because I had kids, I had a girlfriend. I literally laid on the floor and started crying. I was like, ‘What have I done? I don’t know if I have done the right thing’. But the weirdest thing was I’d go to training [and] I would be all right.

“Then like a drop of a hat I found a barber, I found friends, a routine. Yes, it was a tough time but it was weird, I was silly and looking back you think, 'Why didn’t you just go and sit with mates?'”

The former England striker also brushed off criticism of his strike-rate, having scored 111 Premier League goals from 516 appearances, while notching 60 in all competitions for Liverpool from 223 games.

“I play for the team; it wasn’t anything that really bothered me,” Heskey continued.

“I know [some] forwards will go out and if [the team] score five and they don’t, they are fuming. I don’t care. I still got to the top 1 per cent or whatever of the game.

“Your son is eight. So if I tell you by the age of 24 he would’ve represented England youth all the way through, would have made his debut at 17 and gone to three cup finals in four years for his hometown team, then been sold for a record to Liverpool – one of the biggest clubs in the world; then he’d go on to win the treble [FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup] that first season, represent England at two World Cups, in the European Championships, and play in one of England’s most memorable games to date, winning God knows, six or seven trophies by the age of 24, how would you feel?”