Dele Alli is a household name due to his successful football career at Premier League football clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, along with his international appearances that saw him form part of the England squad that reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.
Although the 27-year-old’s career in professional football has been what others could only dream of, Alli has spoken out about the horrific abuse that he suffered in the early years of his life and how this has negatively impacted his career and mental health.
Alli was molested at just six years old by his mother’s friend who was frequently present in his childhood home. He was then sent to Africa by his mother in order for him to “learn discipline,” before being returned back to England where he started smoking at the age of 7 years old and, at the age of 8 years old, he began to deal drugs. Alli also recollects being hung off a bridge by a man that lived in a nearby estate at 11 years old. He was adopted at the age of 12 years old by what he describes as an “amazing family”.
During the interview with Gary Neville on ‘The Overlap’, Alli talks of how he has recently received treatment at a rehab facility in America in order to seek help for an addiction to sleeping pills. The rehab facility was described by Alli as a place that deals with addiction, mental health and trauma, and he felt that it was the right time for him to go. Alli speaks about how the rehab facility helped him to understand a lot of things that happened when he was younger.
Alli describes how he used sleeping pills to numb his feelings, which he did not realise for some time. There were occasions when Alli would take sleeping pills at 11 o’clock in the morning and he felt that the pills assisted him in escaping from reality.
The Everton midfielder hopes that by talking about his experiences he can help others and show that it does not make you weak to seek help.
Gary Neville has described the interview as “the most emotional, difficult yet inspirational conversation” that he has ever had in his life.
In our experience with handling claims on behalf of survivors of abuse, we know all too well the impact childhood abuse can have throughout a person’s life. Their experiences can lead them down the path of addiction as they seek to cope with their trauma.
Survivors of crimes of violence such as sexual and physical abuse are sometimes entitled to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in order to seek compensation. Although we understand that no financial award will ever undo the harm done, compensation can often bring closure to victims and provide the means to fund, for example, much needed medical treatment and therapy.
Farleys have extensive experience in helping victims of sexual and physical abuse to seek redress. If you or someone that you know has been the victim of abuse, please contact one of our specialists on 0330 134 6430, by email, or through the online chat below.