Connect with us

Premier League

“Knew immediately I was in trouble!” Tablet dependent CL winner Chris Kirkland makes emotional confession



"Knew immediately I was in trouble!"  Tablet dependent CL winner Chris Kirkland makes emotional confession

Chris Kirkland is a cautionary tale about the abuse of painkillers in professional sports. Today the Champions League winner is clean again, but in an interview with The I he gives emotional insights.

“I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t painkillers. I just didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know where I was or what was happening,” admits Chris Kirkland in an interview The I.

They are emotional insights into the life of a professional athlete who, cornered by the pressure to perform and succeed as well as public expectations, finally turns to drugs in order to do justice to himself and everyone else.

Chris Kirkland won the Champions League with Liverpool FC

At the height of his career, Kirkland won the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool FC, but the price he and many of his peers are paying for the triumph and success is heavy. More and more games, an ever-increasing intensity are taking their toll – at some point the body no longer takes part. Give up? No chance!

“The players take pills like candy and underestimate the danger,” says recognized pain researcher Prof. Dr. Toni Graf-Baumann in an exclusive interview with SPOX and GOAL dismayed in 2017. The same applies to Kirkland, who suffered a serious back injury after a crash in Liverpool training session with Steve Finnan.

The pain – also due to the high level of exertion – worsens over time, with Sheffield Wednesday fans deriding Kirkland as “prone to injury” after signing in 2012. What they don’t know is that the goalkeeper is already taking 2500mg of tramadol every day, which is seven times the recommended daily dose of the strong painkiller.

Ten years later, the career of the 42-year-old has long since ended, but Kirkland is now dependent on painkillers. When his family doctor stopped prescribing painkillers in early 2022, he found what he was looking for on the internet. “Within minutes of taking it, I knew I was in trouble,” he recalls.

Chris Kirkland went cold turkey

“I put ‘Home’ into the sat nav and somehow managed to get home, then I got violently nauseous and slept for 18 hours. The next day I got up and flushed the stuff down the toilet. I had a few left right ones in the house, but I knew that day there was no turning back.”

Kirkland realizes just in time that he needs to change something in his life. He goes cold turkey and manages to get clean with the support of his family and his wife, who regularly drug tests him to check.

“I’ve been on painkillers for eight and a half years out of the last ten. It was a horrible time, not just for me but for my family,” says Kirkland, who, a year after his last painkiller, is still occasionally feeling the after-effects of his addiction feel.

“I’m really fine 95 percent of the time. I still go through a phase where I just can’t function for three to four days a month,” he explains. “I’m not speaking. It feels like there’s a black cloud over you. You can hear people talking, but it’s like you’re not there. It’s the deepest of all lows, which is why you think it might be bipolar be a disturbance.”