Ex-Liverpool midfielder Murphy reveals past cocaine addiction

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has said he dealt with a cocaine addiction after the end of his playing career as he struggled with the transition into retirement.

Murphy, who now works as a broadcaster in the sport, said on the Ben Heath podcast: “When you don’t have football, problems become huge.

“When you play football, the adrenaline and dopamine, all these things keep you forward-thinking and energetic.

“I had a spell on cocaine and smoking some weed. The drink, I could live without it. I wasn’t an alcoholic. I could sit in a house with alcohol and not drink it.”

Murphy played for Fulham, Tottenham, Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers as well as Liverpool in the Premier League scoring 50 goals in 417 appearances. He earned nine caps for England in that time.

“For a while I was [addicted to cocaine],” he said when asked about his intake of the drug. “I got to the point where I thought I couldn’t do things without it. Which was nonsense, of course I could.

“You manage it initially, you might do it once a week, twice a week, give yourself an extra third day. Eventually it builds up and grabs hold of you.”

Murphy retired in 2013 and said he started to get help in 2017, something he said added “a desire to be better that I didn’t have before.”

He also warned that, despite advances made in post-career advice for footballers, retirement remains an issue.

“I’ve had some real depths of despair,” Murphy said. “There’s a lot more help out there now, but you can never get a failsafe system.”