Four days a week I was drunk. I wrote a suicide note … but Sheffield United helped save me – The Athletic


Tony Currie, the former England international whose name graces the main stand at Sheffield United, has no doubts about the debt he owes to the city which has been his adopted homeland for 35 years.

“This place saved my life,” he says. “Not just Sheffield United giving me a job when I was at its lowest. But the city. Coming back here after I finished my career, I suddenly had people looking after me again. They really cared. And loved me. It was huge.

The story of how Currie, one of the great artists of English football whose shoulder-length blonde hair in the 1970s meant he would have been equally at home as the lead singer of a band from glam rock, from patio darling to suicide contemplation is infamously familiar to ex-pros.

A bad injury – in his case a crippling knee problem – saw a playing career, which had seen him pay only a fraction of what his talent deserved, come to an end prematurely in his early 30s. With his marriage already over, Currie embarked on a series of jobs to try to make ends meet amid the heavy drinking that makes him shiver today.

“I got in badly,” the 71-year-old told The Athletic. “I lost my marriage in 81. My career then ended a few years later after QPR did not renew my contract.

“After that, I tried to drive a taxi until the car blew up. I’m looking back now and glad I am, because otherwise I might still be here – getting around women literally pissing themselves in my backseat on the way home. There were five of them in the back of the cab that night and at least two of them did.

“Another time this guy put something in my hand to pay and then ran away.


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