Former Premier League star Lee Hendrie has revealed he tried to kill himself “five or six times” – and recalled how we woke up on a life support machine after one attempt.
Dad-of-five Hendrie, who earned £30,000-a-week at the peak of his career with Aston Villa, made several suicide attempts after his financial woes escalated to the point where his mum’s house was repossessed.
And the 43-year-old has opened up on his struggles to Paul Merson and Vinnie Jones.
The three former footballers, all of whom have battled depression or addiction, had an emotional chat on episode two of ITV show Harry’s Heroes.
“I fell deep down into depression really,’ said Hendrie, who made one appearance for England in 1998.
“I ended up going bankrupt, my house got repossessed, they repossessed my mum’s house and that just destroyed me.
“That was it then, I got up one day and tried to kill myself. I woke up on a life-support machine, my body had shut down. Then I tried to do it again.
“I just couldn’t grasp what was going on. Still now, every single day I struggle, I still take anti-depressants. I didn’t even want to talk about it.”
He added: “It was really selfish of me to do that. I’ve got five children and to think I was going to leave all that behind. I just felt like I had let everyone down really.”
Hendrie “hit rock bottom” 10 years ago when he realised his house and that of his mum would have to be repossessed.
Hendrie’s property portfolio, which had once been worth £10million, was swamped by huge debt, according to The Guardian.
In an interview with the publication, Hendrie said “could easily name five, six times where I tried to do that in the bad period” and admitted his wife Emma “went through an awful lot”.
He said: “The football was almost over and my head was gone.
“I’d been trying to sell property but the housing market crashed. I got to the stage where I just wanted to end it all. I’d hit rock bottom.”
Hendrie has more recently been working for Sky Sports as a pundit, and said he was grateful for the opportunity to put his dark days behind him.
“Things can be fantastic one day or one week and then it can turn,” he told The Guardian. “I can sit in bed for three days and not want to get up.
“I’m my own worst enemy. I don’t feel I deserve any plaudits. But I’m proud I’ve become someone different.
“I’ve ended up getting myself into a great job working for Sky Sports. I’ve got to thank lots of people that have taken a punt on me and realised I’m not that person I’m painted out to be.
“For all the bad press, I’m still a human being. I’m striving to do this new job well but I always have that fear things could go wrong again.”