Paul Merson: Harry’s Heroes saved my life

Paul Merson thinks ‘Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having A Laugh’ saved his life.
The 52-year-old former Arsenal player used to drink “35 pints a week” and gamble his life savings – but after joining the football team for the ITV rematch against the Germans, he was able to battle his addictions with the support of Harry Redknapp and the team.
Paul told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “From last time, I’m 100 times better, my life’s changed around. Where I was last year compared to now, I can’t explain.
“The impact of being in the team, it saved my life. I was drinking at least 35 pints a week and gambling. But I’m sober and bet-free now. As soon as I addressed the drinking, I didn’t gamble. I’ve come to realise I’m powerless over alcohol. I’m an alcoholic.”
Paul has endured a lengthy battle with addictions after his first marriage ended over his habits, and he was later arrested for drink-driving when he was involved in a car crash with a lorry on the M40.
In 2019, he opened up on how gambling had damaged his life on ‘Harry’s Heroes: The Full English’.
The retired sports star subsequently revealed how his addiction has fuelled his mental health struggles.
He said: “I have a disease – and it is a disease. My drinking and gambling left a lot of wreckage. As an alcoholic, recovering now, those things are hard for me.
“It’s quite sad really because you look now and think what a waste of a life, some of it.”
Throughout his career, friends and work colleagues urged Paul to get treatment.
However, it never helped the former England international until he decided to ask for help on his own terms.
He shared: “I went into treatment twice and it never helped because people made me go in, the club made me go in or the FA made me go in. This is the time I did it for me.”


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