Tearfully, Dele Alli reveals he was sexually abused at age 6

English footballer Dele Alli has revealed amidst tears that he was sexually abused at age 6 as he narrated to Gary Neville’s “The Overlap” podcast his life journey in dealing drugs by aged eight and how his life turned around by age 12 when he was adopted by a new family.

“At six I was molested by my mum’s friend, who was at the house a lot. My mum was an alcoholic. “Then I was sent to Africa (to his father) to learn discipline and then I was sent back. (At) seven I started smoking, eight I started dealing drugs.

“An older person told me that they wouldn’t stop a kid on a bike, so I rode around with my football, and then underneath I’d have the drugs, that was eight.

“Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate, a man.

“Twelve, I was adopted… I was adopted by an amazing family like I said, I couldn’t have asked for better people to do what they’d done for me. If God created people, it was them,” Alli said.

Alli, who was a key part of the England side that reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, has had a setback in his career in recent years, leaving Tottenham Hotspur, after being benched many times and then struggling to make an impact at Everton or on loan at Besiktas last season.

In the interview, Alli,27, revealed that he recently came out of six weeks in rehab for a sleeping pill addiction after struggling to deal with the trauma of suffering sexual abuse as a child. He explained how his career struggles are rooted in a series of childhood traumas that he tried to block out and stated that the rehab has helped rekindle his passion to get his football career back on track.

“Going into rehab is definitely scary but I could never have imagined how much I would get from it and how much it would help me mentally.

“I was in a bad place. A lot happened when I was younger that I could never understand,” he said.

Alli also warned players that the dangers of sleeping pill addiction are widespread and high in football, as many players are often prescribed tablets before and after matches.

“I got addicted to sleeping tablets and it’s probably a problem that not only I have, I think it’s something that’s going around more than people realise in football.

“To take a sleeping tablet and be ready for the next day is fine, but when you’re broken as I am, it can obviously have the reverse effect because it does work for the problems you want to deal with,” he said.

Alli hopes that by speaking out he can help others that have suffered similar abuse.

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