EPL

Dele Alli ‘overwhelmed’ by support after revealing mental health struggles

By Sports Desk April 15, 2024

Everton forward Dele Alli admits he was “overwhelmed” by the response to his emotional interview in which he confronted mental health issues relating to his troubled childhood.

Last summer the 28-year-old revealed he had been sexually abused as a six-year-old and fell into selling drugs aged just eight, leading to psychological problems later in life. He also opened up about a sleeping pill addiction which led to a stay at a rehab clinic.

“When I did the interview I said if I helped one person that’s all I needed,” Alli, speaking publicly for the first time since that interview, told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.

“I had to do it for my own reasons, but if it helped one person that is all I wanted from it and the reaction and support I got was definitely overwhelming.

“But it was amazing to see how many people it did help and I’m definitely very proud of it.”

Alli said going public with his problems was part of a process that has enabled him to learn important lessons about himself, which have in turn helped him through a testing period of injury.

He has not played since a loan spell at Besiktas was cut short in February last year due to a hip problem and a groin issue has delayed his return to the Everton squad.

“When I did the interview I said it was the best I had felt at that time, coming out of rehab and getting back ready for playing,” he added.

“I’ve had to learn what patience is and it’s been a long journey with the injury, a lot of ups and downs, but it is something I’ve had to learn.

 

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“If you had asked me before, injuries would have been right at the top of my list to mentally overcome. Before this injury the longest one was eight weeks, which felt like forever.

“If I hadn’t gone through that process in the summer it would have been so difficult for me to go through this for over a year now.

“It is just an injury and hopefully one I’m getting to the end of. The pain of the injury is something I can really channel and help motivate me.

“I really had to learn what patience is, but it has made me hungrier to get back in.”

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