Jesse Lingard admits turning to booze during darkest days of Man Utd career amid horror fan abuse and mum’s depression

JESSE LINGARD admits he was drinking during the darkest days of his career.

The pressure of playing for Manchester United, a dip in form and abuse from fans took its toll in the 2019-20 season.

AlamyJesse Lingard admitted that he turned to drink to try and “take the pain away” during his darkest days at Man Utd[/caption]

ReutersLingard revealed family issues did not help make the situation any better[/caption]

Lingard was also looking after his siblings while his mum battled depression.

Now at Nottingham Forest, the attacker, 30, said: “I was drinking before bed, having a nightcap. I look back now and think, ‘What was I doing that for?’

“But I needed something to take the pain away. I was trying to forget what was going on. But it makes it ten times worse.

“You’re getting that much abuse and I’m already down enough and I’ve got to perform.

“I was still trying to be Jesse — with banter and jokes and all that — but, of course, it’s going to affect me. I felt the world was on my shoulders.”

Lingard’s issues meant he struggled to care for brother Jasper and sister Daisy-Boo while his mum Kirsty sought treatment.

Speaking to The Diary Of A CEO podcast, Lingard said: “The depression was so bad she couldn’t cope and needed to get help.

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

“So I wasn’t really the big brother they wanted.

“I was on the pitch but didn’t want to be — I didn’t want to play. I just needed a break.”

Lingard came through United’s academy and scored their winner in the 2016 FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.

He boasts 32 England caps and was a key man as the Three Lions made the last four at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But as things started to unravel he turned to then Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He said: “I thought I could handle it but it came to a point when I went to Ole and said, ‘This is what’s going on’.

“We kept it close-knit but even just to have Ole say, ‘How is your mum? How is she doing?’

“Just to have those conversations helped.”

He had a successful loan spell at West Ham in 2020-21 before returning to United for a season.

And Lingard, who joined Forest on a free in the summer, could not resist a pop at his old club.

He said: “They’re behind on everything. You see City’s facilities, Tottenham’s facilities . . . people are miles ahead.”

Depression… the signs to look out for

We can all do our bit to help prevent deaths from suicide during these uncertain times.

There are several warning signs that a person is at risk of suicide. But it’s vital to know that they won’t always be obvious.

While some people are quite visibly in pain and become withdrawn and depressed, others may continue their life as normal pretending everything is fine.

Look out for subtle personality changes in friends and family, especially if you know they have been going through a tough time, Lorna Fraser of the Samaritans told The Sun Online.

These are the key signs to watch out for in not just your loved ones, but yourself too…

A change in routine, such as sleeping or eating less than normal
Struggling to sleep, lacking energy or appearing particularly tired
Drinking, smoking or using drugs more than usual
Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy
Becoming withdrawn from friends and family – not wanting to talk or be with people
Appearing more tearful
Appearing restless, agitated, nervous, irritable
Putting themselves down in a serious or jokey way, for example ‘Oh, no one loves me’, or ‘I’m a waste of space’
Losing interest in their appearance, not liking or taking care of themselves or feeling they don’t matter

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