31 July 2020

Former Arsenal star Alex Scott reveals how online abuse turned her to drink following retirement

Former Arsenal football star Alex Scott has revealed how she turned to alcohol as a result of online abuse following her retirement.  

The 35 year-old hung up her boots in 2017 and turned to punditry after a hugely successful football career in which she earned 140 England caps. 

Earlier this year Scott said she considered quitting punditry after she received death and rape threats during the men’s 2018 World Cup. 

Now she has spoken again about her struggles as part of Prince William's Heads Up campaign #SoundofSupport series. 

Speaking to Watford's Troy Deeney, she said: "I was that footballer where, when I retired [and was] getting trolled, I found that I was turning to drink to try and hide what I was feeling.

"I didn’t tell anyone - I didn’t tell my mum because I didn’t want her to worry.

"I’m very much that person – I can look after myself, I can deal with stuff - but then obviously sometimes that’s the wrong way.

“I got to a dark place and it was over Christmas, that’s when I was like ‘I can’t carry on like this, it’s not me, I need to seek help’ and that led me into therapy.”

The campaign is set to encourage ‘more men to feel comfortable talking about their mental health and feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times’.

Scott, who made 76 appearances for Arsenal between 2012-2018, added: "Now when I talk about mental health, straight away I’m smiling. Because I know what it’s done for me to leave that place.

“I’m content. I’m happy. And I feel like I want to give that to everyone else.”

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