Guest blog: Jeff Whitley
- 08 November 2013 11:45
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
In the latest of our Guest Blogs, former City midfielder Jeff Whitley talks about how he uses his experiences to help others suffering from addiction...
"In the last few years, since I stopped playing full time, I’ve been selling cars and I worked at Wolves for a while, coaching their youth team players. I also do some work with the Sporting Chance clinic, which is really important to me.
"They did so much for me by giving me the opportunity to understand my addiction. So to be able to do some work myself for Sporting Chance, to be able to go round to football clubs and share my experiences with them, is something I always wish I had when I was a player.
"I think it’s always harder for an individual suffering from addiction to stop doing what they’re doing when someone without much experience is just pointing the finger at them and telling them to stop.
"However, because I have been there and I have done that, I am not coming from the same place as someone who might have just been to college learning about addiction.
"I am talking from experience and about how it happened to me, as well as sharing how I got through it and how I got my life back on track.
"I get a lot of joy out of doing it and if as a result one person comes forward with any problems that they’ve got, it will mean a lot to me. Hopefully they will go on to live a better life because they understand how they tick.
"There weren’t as many facilities out there to help footballers tackle addiction when I was playing. Now there is a lot more help out there, and it’s been in the press many times.
"However, you don’t have to be a footballer or have lots of money to access the help available. You can go online and find plenty of information. Alcoholics Anonymous obviously started it all off with the 12-step programme, but there are now over 200 different fellowships you can seek help from and they are all free.
"There are plenty of local groups you can go to and people will welcome you. In the meetings I attend, you always see new people coming in and all you want is for them to get well."