Former Premier League and England midfielder reveals he suffered cocaine addiction after retiring from football

9 April 2024, 22:24 | Updated: 9 April 2024, 22:29

Danny Murphy used to play for Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham
Danny Murphy used to play for Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Former Premier League and England midfielder Danny Murphy has revealed he suffered with a cocaine addiction after retiring from football.

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Murphy, 47, who retired in 2013, told the Ben Heath Podcast that he "initially dabbed" in drugs to "get the odd buzz and high".

"I think it was an accumulation of things so I needed some escapism from reality. And reality was facing up to problems," he said.

Murphy's addiction began shortly after his retirement as he struggled to grapple with a future without playing football.

"This financial problem, tax bill, relationship. How do I deal with problems when I don't play football?" Murphy explained.

Danny Murphy playing for Liverpool
Danny Murphy playing for Liverpool. Picture: Getty

"When you play football, the adrenaline and dopamine keep you forward thinking and energetic irrelevant of the other issues. These issues become huge without football. I had a spell on cocaine and smoking some weed," Murphy said.

"The drink, I could live without it. I wasn't an alcoholic. I could sit in a house with alcohol and not drink it.

"For a while I was (addicted to cocaine), yeah. I got to the point where I thought I couldn't do things without it. Which was nonsense, of course I could."

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Murphy, who regularly commentates on Premier League and international football games, says the career pivot helped him overcome his addiction, alongside therapy.

He began his career at Crewe Alexandra, where he made a name for himself by scoring 27 goals in 137 appearances from midfield.

The young Englishman then earned himself a move to Liverpool, where he stayed for seven years, netting 25 goals in 170 appearances.

Murphy earned himself nine caps for England, scoring one goal.

He also played for Charlton Athletic, Tottenham, Blackburn Rovers, and Fulham.

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