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'I was drinking two litres of liquor a day, doing cocaine and hiding in cupboards' – Premier League star on retirement

Published 26/03/2014 | 16:57

Claus Lundekvam has opened up on his addictions and paranoia following retirement.
Claus Lundekvam has opened up on his addictions and paranoia following retirement.

Former Southampton captain Claus Lundekvam has lifted the lid on his addictions after retiring from football and says he accepted he was on the road to death.

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In a stark interview with The Blizzard quarterly football magazine, an extract of which appears in today’s Guardian, the former Norwegian international has given an honest account of his struggles after hanging up his boots in 2008.

The Saints legend stated that his drugs and alcohol abuse was sending him to an early grave but he cared little for the consequences which greatly affected his family life.

“I would drink two litres of hard liquor and do between five and ten grams of cocaine every day,” Lundekvam recalls.

“At that point I’d given up. I accepted that as a human being I was finished.”

At first it was trying cocaine on holidays and soon led to taking sleeping pills every morning to “get things right”, but soon things got out of control.

Paranoia gripped Lundekvam and he would take to his back-garden armed with a knife looking for paparazzi in the undergrowth.

“With the combination of alcohol and cocaine, you get an angst and a paranoia that’s like nothing else and you think the whole world is watching you.”

“So I unscrewed all the light bulbs in my house and I climbed the trees in the garden and crawled around out there.”

After passing out and missing a one-way flight to Rio de Janeiro where he planned more substance abuse – he points to this a key turning point – Lundekvam is now in recovery in Norway, working as a TV pundit and back with his family and children.

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