Wayne Rooney shares secret mental health struggle as he coped with stresses of life

By Zoe Delaney

Wayne Rooney has opened up about a secret mental health battle and recalled a time when he was "really down" and the struggle to "cover it up".

The former football player will be the subject of an upcoming Amazon Original documentary surrounding his life and career - set to be released early next year.

Speaking in London on Tuesday, 35-year-old Wayne discussed the nature of the documentary with the film's director Matt Smith and Q&A host Gabby Logan.

When quizzed on why he wanted to share new aspects of his life on screen, the former England captain explained how it was important for viewers to see a different version of him.

"I felt it was important for everyone to see me as a person, behind the scenes as a family man," the dad-of-four replied on stage during the event.

"Growing up in a council estate in Liverpool wasn’t easy. Getting thrown into the spotlight as a 16-year-old. The film captures a lot of that. It’s exciting for me to do this."

After making a sensational debut for his boyhood club Everton as a teenager in 2002, Wayne went on to become one of England's most prolific strikers - with a illustrious playing career that sat him win major trophies multiple times and break goal scoring records.

Despite his undeniable talent, Wayne was often also on the back pages for his temperament and on-pitch outbursts.

Speaking about his infamous sending-off at the 2006 World Cup, the Derby FC manager said: "When I came off the pitch I was by myself, so it will be interesting for the audience to see what was going on in my head after that Red Card."

Wife Coleen Rooney will also appear in the upcoming documentary (AMAZON PRIME)

He continued to discuss the matter of his mental health, commenting: "There’s a moment of me talking about a time when I was really down. Trying to cope with the pressure of playing for Manchester United, and you’ll get insight into what was going on in my head.

At the time, you’re figuring out how to get rid of that frustration. Behind the scenes there weren’t many people who knew. It’s hard to cover that up."

Off the pitch, Wayne has been married to his childhood sweetheart Coleen Rooney since 2008.

Together, the two Croxteth-born stars share four children together; Kai, 11, Klay, 8, Kit, 5 and Cass, 3.

The cameras also capture some family moments with the couple and their four boys (coleen_rooney/Instagram)

When questioned how it felt the let the cameras in his family home, Wayne admitted he's hoping the footage will give viewers and fans a "better understanding" of him.

"This was different, having the cameras at home, seeing how we interact with each other and the kids," he said.

"I think we got some very good footage of us as a family. It will be good for everyone to see because they’ll have a better understanding of me."

The Amazon Original documentary, titled Rooney, is scheduled to be released in early 2022.


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