Liverpool icon Danny Murphy admits cocaine addiction and ‘hating’ Benitez | Football | Sport

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Liverpool icon Danny Murphy admits cocaine addiction and ‘hating’ Benitez | Football | Sport

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has opened up on his cocaine addiction in a wide-ranging interview in which he discussed problems with drugs, his father’s death and « hating » ex-Reds boss Rafa Benitez. Murphy starred for Liverpool between 1997 and 2004 before going on to play for teams including Charlton, Tottenham and Fulham, captaining the latter.

Murphy is a regular BBC pundit and often appears on Match of the Day, but recently admitted to having a previous cocaine addiction. He explained that he searched for « escapism » after retirement and found it through drugs, but they soon got a grip on the nine-cap England international.

“The escapism is what I was after, and I got it for a while, but then it grabs hold of you,” Murphy said on the Ben Heath Podcast. “The drink (wasn’t a big thing) it was more coke with me, cocaine.

“I had a spell on cocaine and I was smoking some weed and the drink, I could live without it. I wasn’t an alcoholic, no, I could sit in the house if there was alcohol and not drink it.”

When asked if he was addicted to cocaine, Murphy replied: “For a while I was. Because it got to the point where I didn’t think I could do things without it. Which was nonsense, of course I could. And what you do and anyone will tell you, with any drug or any addiction, you manage it initially. 

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« You might do it once a week, twice a week, give yourself an extra third day and then it just quickly (spirals). When I got help I put myself around people who had been through it. »

Murphy explained that he went to therapy to overc0me his battles, but issued a warning about how quickly someone can go from mocking those with addictions to becoming a person who then suffers from the same problems.

“You would have to have a weak mentality, you would have to be an idiot, to fall into drink or drugs,” Murphy added as he explained his previous perception of addiction. “Or gambling, or putting yourself in situations and locations that aren’t going to be beneficial and jeopardising relationships.

“I used to think: ‘Why would you? You would have to be stupid. I will never be you’. That’s what I used to think when I would see people in real trouble, arrogantly maybe. And then I was that person for a brief time.

“But it’s part of the journey. I think initially I dabbled in certain things just to try and get the odd buzz and the odd high. There’s no exact science as to why you do something. I think an accumulation of things put me in a place where I needed some escapism.

“Escapism is a great word, because I was looking for escapism from reality and reality was facing up to problems, problems of ‘this financial problem, this tax bill, this relationship’. How do I deal with problems when I haven’t got football? Because problems when you play football aren’t problems.”

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