Team GB striker Kelly Smith returned to squad after overcoming drink problem and depression
Tuesday 31 July 2012
Team GB's star striker Kelly Smith battled against alcoholism and depression to win back a place in the Olympics squad.
Watford-born Smith’s 18-year career has seen her play for Arsenal Ladies in three spells and earn 111 England caps.
But her career has also seen her struggle with self-doubt and addiction.
Her drink habit grew when she was playing in the US between 1999 and 2003, which finished with major knee surgery and then a broken leg.
Smith, 33, was thousands of miles from home, missing her family and suffered periods of depression.
With nothing to do after physio appointments she turned to alcohol to “numb everything” and would often drink, usually vodka, until passing out.
In 2004, Smith had 28 days treatment in the Priory and then was helped by the Sporting Chance Clinic run by Tony Adams, the former Arsenal and England defender.
She returned to Arsenal Ladies the same year and says she has never looked back.
Smith added: “I’m ready to go and I just need games now. I’ve had a few injuries over the past five or six years but I’ve got to have a strong mentality and I’m fighting fit now.”
The forward has scored 45 goals for England and has been described by commentators as “lethally quick, bountifully gifted”.
This year there were doubts whether she would be fit enough to compete in the Games. Smith said: “I’m used to coming back from injury.
“I’m a lot older now and I know how to deal with disappointments of not playing the game. I have strategies in place for people who I speak to if I feel down or anything like that.
“That was a different part of my life, I’m older and wiser now. I can deal with things better. It was injury and being alone, not playing the game that I love and not being able to deal with that and that’s when I picked up the bottle.
“It doesn’t happen any more. I’m on the road to recovery, fit and healthy now and haven’t looked back since.”
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food