Ex-Prem star Claus Lundekvam reveals he drank vodka every morning and suffered booze and drug addiction after retirement

SOUTHAMPTON legend Claus Lundekvam has revealed he suffered from drug and alcohol addiction after his retirement.

The ex-Premier League ace was forced to retire through injury in 2008 and struggled as a result, admitting to drinking vodka every morning.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Lundekvam said: "From my testimonial to waking up every morning and having to drink a milking glass of pure vodka – that only took nine months.

"It's quite unbelievable how quickly I was losing myself and found myself in a hopeless situation which I couldn’t see a way out of."

Lundekvam, 48, enjoyed a glittering career with Southampton, making 290 Premier League appearances for the south-coast club.

One of the highlights of his playing days was featuring in the Saints' FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal in 2003, along with his 40 caps for Norway.

Lundekvam's career came to an aprut end in May 2007 during a Championship match between Southampton and Southend.

The defender, then 34, was stretchered off just before half-time after falling awkwardly and damaging his ankle.

Lundekvam tried to regain his fitness but after 10 months of hard work and dedication, he was forced to retire in March 2008 aged 35.

The ex-pro then began to struggle with addiction and depression, twice attempting to take his own life.

Lundekvam found help at Tony Adams' Sporting Chance Clinic and began his road to recovery, sharing his story to help others in need.

He added: "I was so tired and so depressed.

"My life was horizontal for 23 hours a day. I was just ordering the things I needed to have: alcohol, pills and cocaine.

"I was destroying myself slowly but surely. Actually, pretty quickly.

"It ended up with a lot of paranoia, a lot of anxiety. So much came with it that I tried to take my own life twice.

"Luckily I didn’t succeed. The other time, I had so much guilt and shame about where I was, being a legend of the club, all of a sudden I was completely lost and destroyed."

Contact the Samaritans

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact The Samaritans on 116 123.

They are available for free at anytime.

Or email https://www.samaritans.org/

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