Dele Alli, the Everton midfielder, has bravely shared his harrowing experiences, revealing that he was sexually abused at the age of six and involved in drug dealing just two years later. In an emotional interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap, Dele fought back tears as he discussed his challenging upbringing before being adopted by the Hickford family. He also shed light on his battle with a sleeping pill addiction and recently completed rehab, as he struggled with his mental health.

Full interview

Dele’s journey took a downturn upon his return from a loan spell at Besiktas last season. He discovered he needed an operation and found himself in a difficult mental state. Recognizing the need for support, he made the decision to seek help by checking into a rehab facility that specializes in addressing addiction, mental health issues, and trauma. Dele emphasized that such a choice must come from within, as external persuasion alone is insufficient for successful recovery.

During the interview, Dele shared a poignant moment when he contemplated retiring at the age of 24. He described looking into the mirror, feeling the weight of Mourinho’s decision to stop playing him. However, Dele also revealed that Mourinho later apologized for his comment, featured in Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary on Spurs, acknowledging that he had witnessed Dele’s commitment and effort during training and matches.

Dele’s openness about his past traumas, mental health struggles, and journey towards recovery shines a light on the importance of seeking support and addressing these issues. By sharing his story, he hopes to inspire others to make their own decisions for healing and growth. Dele’s resilience and determination are commendable, serving as a reminder of the strength that can emerge from vulnerability and the power of taking ownership of one’s journey towards well-being.