Tony Adams embarks on a heavy drinking session after Wembley humiliation at Euro 1988 as the English legend admits he ‘wetted the bed’ from drinking because he didn’t have the ‘tools to cope’ after a poor match against Marco van Basten’s Holland
Tony Adams has revealed how he started drinking after England’s loss to the Netherlands at Euro 1988, as the Arsenal legend had no means to cope after a bad day at the office against Marco van Basten.
Adams, 54, has previously opened up about his alcoholism as a professional and has started a clinic – Sporting Chance – to help other athletes with a wide range of emotional and mental problems.
It’s the kind of help Adams admits he needed as a young footballer, and the former Arsenal defender has shared how he wet the bed after a heavy night of drinking after beating the Netherlands 33 years ago.
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Tony Adams has started heavy drinking after Wembley humiliation at Euro 88
After losing their opening game to the Republic of Ireland, Sir Bobby Robson’s squad needed a response against the Dutch, and Adams was tasked with keeping a close eye on Van Basten, who won the Ballon d’Or that year. .
Van Basten scored a hat-trick when the Netherlands came out 3-1. The defeat devastated Adams and he was unable to cope with the criticism that England’s Wembley performance drew.
“I had a horrible tournament,” he said The sun. “It was damaging on and off the field.
England were eliminated from the competition in the group stage after a poor performance
Adams, then 22, got the run-around from Marco van Basten in a 3-1 defeat at Wembley
“I was so young, you know, 22 years old, playing against the Dutch and probably the best player in the world at the time.
“I was turned inside out for a couple of goals and it was like all the blame fell on me.
“I had no tools to deal with it. I had a nice drink after we left the tournament and ended up wetting the bed. The chambermaid liked it.
“When I went to breakfast with the crew, all the boys got up and said, ‘Pee, pee, pee, pee’.
Adams says he drank heavily that night because he had no other method of coping with defeat
The Arsenal legend (L) says he wets the bed and was mocked by his England teammates
“The humiliation and the shame – I laughed it off and put the front up, but inside it really hurt. That really killed me.’
Adams won 66 caps for his country and led the Three Lions for Euro 96, a moment he looks back on as ‘redemption’.
The availability of mental health support for athletes has grown by leaps and bounds since Adams hung up his shoes, although the issue came to the fore last week after Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open for mental health reasons.
“The truth is that since the US Open in 2018 I’ve had long bouts of depression and I’ve had a really hard time with that,” she said.
“I’m going to take some time off the pitch now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the tour to discuss how we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”
Mental health in sports has reared its ugly head after Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open