9 months is generally related to the creation of life, however for Claus Lundekvam, it was sufficient time for his to collapse.
It started on July 18, 2008. The Southampton icon hobbled onto the St Mary’s turf for a late cameo, greeted with rapturous applause from greater than 18,000 adoring followers.
It was a testimonial at 35 for a legend whose profession was cruelly reduce quick by damage.
And as he left the sector moments later, the lights went out.
Not solely on a glittering profession, which noticed him spend 14 seasons at Saints, however on life itself.
By March 2009, the previous Norway captain was misplaced in a cloud of alcohol and medicines, which might finally lead to two suicide makes an attempt.
Likened to Alan Hansen by Matt Le Tissier throughout his enjoying days, the defender was all of a sudden susceptible, trying to find an irreplaceable feeling that will tear his world aside.
Soccer, and all the pieces that got here with it, made him really feel alive – however now there was nothing. No objective, no identification.
Nothing, besides cash and plenty of time to burn it.
His spouse took his two daughters again to Norway in order that they didn’t see their father like this.
As soon as thought of a person highly effective sufficient to cease Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer, Lundekvam resorted to hiding in his wardrobe and looking imaginary paparazzi in his backyard.
Riddled with habit and consigned to a life with out that means, the legendary captain of his nation was not past saving. There may be all the time a method out.
The 48-year-old discovered the assistance he so desperately wanted on the Sporting Probability Clinic, a restoration facility for athletes arrange by former Arsenal captain Tony Adams.
And Lundekvam is just not alone. ‘After The Lights Go Out’ on talkSPORT explores the struggles of retirement, a psychological departure from sport, which regularly comes too early and with none assist.
Talking to talkSPORT on the newest episode, which airs at 9pm on Sunday, Lundekvam bravely took us by his darkest moments.
“From my testimonial to waking up each morning and having to drink a milking glass of pure vodka – that solely took 9 months,” he stated.
“It’s fairly unbelievable how rapidly I used to be dropping myself and located myself in a hopeless scenario which I couldn’t see a method out of.
“I used to be so drained and so depressed. My life was horizontal for 23 hours a day. I used to be simply ordering the issues I wanted to have: alcohol, tablets and cocaine.
“I used to be destroying myself slowly however certainly. Really, fairly rapidly.
“It ended up with plenty of paranoia, plenty of nervousness. A lot got here with it that I attempted to take my very own life twice.
“Fortunately I didn’t succeed. The opposite time, I had a lot guilt and disgrace about the place I used to be, being a legend of the membership, rapidly I used to be utterly misplaced and destroyed.”
You’ll be able to hear the complete interview with Claus Lundekvam in ‘After The Lights Go Out’ this Sunday from 9pm on talkSPORT.
If affected by any of the problems mentioned, name Samaritans on 116 123 any time.