Jesse Lingard claims alcohol helped ‘take the pain away’ at Man United

  • Jesse Lingard acknowledges that drinking alcohol at Manchester United helped to “take the agony away.”

Jesse Lingard claims alcohol helped'take the pain away' at Man United
Jesse Lingard claims alcohol helped ‘take the pain away’ at Man United

As his Manchester United career stalled, Jesse Lingard has acknowledged that he sometimes drank alcohol “to try to take the agony away.”

Lingard joined Nottingham Forest last summer on free transfer, signing one-year deal at The City Ground after ending a 22-year stay at Manchester United.

The 30-year-old had fruitful loan at West Ham United before coming back to Manchester United in 2021, but despite being persuaded to stay, he was unable to push his back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s lineup.

Lingard, who scored the goal in the 2016 FA Cup final, admitted that he had become dependent on alcohol before because of the abuse he was experiencing from fans and his mother’s struggle with depression.

“I was drinking before bed, having nightcap,” Lingard told The Diary Of A CEO podcast. “I look back now and think, ‘what was I doing that for?’ But I needed something to try and take the pain away and put me at ease somehow.“I was trying to forget what was going on. But it makes it 10 times worse.

“You’re getting that much abuse, and I’m already down enough, and I’ve got to perform. I’m already going through things you don’t know about…I felt like the world was on my shoulders.”


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Speaking about his mother’s depression, Lingard continued: “The depression was so bad she couldn’t really cope any more and she needed to go away and get help.

“But leaving me with my little sister who was 11 at the time and my little brother who was 15, for me, I was still going through my own things as well.

“So I wasn’t really the big brother they wanted at the time. They always get the fun, laughy, bubbly Jesse and I was going through my own things, so I was on autopilot. I just wasn’t there mentally.”

Lingard discloses that he eventually spoke to Solskjaer about his issues after being abused after United’s FA Cup win over Derby in March 2020.

“To be abused like that tipped it. I didn’t want to be on the pitch, I didn’t want to play. I didn’t want to quit football, I never would have quit football, but I needed break.

“I need to find some motivation, some fire in my belly to get going again because I can’t be doing this.

“We kept it close-knit but even just to have Ole say, ‘how is your mum? How is she doing?’ helped, to let people know what I was going through.”

 

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