FORMER Chesterfield keeper Tommy Lee has revealed how he took round four,000 painkillers throughout his 15-year profession after deciding to hold up his boots on the age of 31.
To stroll away from the sport so younger seems like a profession reduce quick however it began to go fallacious when he got here for a cross towards Bury in 2016.
Lee instructed The Occasions: “The collision was innocuous, the ache was fleeting.
“However moments later it felt like my shoulder was falling out of its socket.”
Lee suffered a 270-degree tear of his labrum, a hoop of cartilage within the shoulder.
After a 12 months of surgical procedure and rehab which concerned having 9 screws fitted, Lee was nonetheless not absolutely match and was medically suggested to retire.
He continued: “I used to be instructed the subsequent process I’ll have is a shoulder alternative, it may very well be within the subsequent 5 years, may very well be within the subsequent 20 years.
“You’re going to need to retire, you’ll be able to’t hold taking these tablets, you’ll be able to’t hold going by this form of ache.
“However as a result of they work so properly, you’re not bothered what’s going to occur in ten years.
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“You’re bothered concerning the Saturday after, you’re bothered about your subsequent contract, you’re bothered about your bonuses, paying your mortgage, doing properly and reaching issues.”
Whereas at Manchester United aged 17 Lee broke a bone in his wrist. It did not heal correctly and he was instructed to cease enjoying soccer.
He added: “It was like, ‘F***ing hell, what am I going to do? I don’t need to do anything, I need to play soccer.
“However I simply endured and endured with it, and there have been days the place the ache was searing.”
He was capable of practice after a course of anti-inflammatory diclofenac tablets which appeared to assist him by coaching and video games.
Lee continued: “They took the sting off and meant I may practice correctly.
“It was by no means actually a difficulty getting maintain of them, that’s most likely once I was taking the anti-inflams essentially the most, three a day, throughout the season, for a number of years.”
It acquired to some extent the place the keeper who spent two years at Macclesfield City couldn’t play or practice with out the tablets. However he insists he has no regrets about his selections.
He added: “I’d be cautious that individuals may construe this as me saying ‘Take a look at me, I’ve performed with ache all my profession’, as a result of it’s frequent, and for me it was a small worth to pay to be within the place the place you get to play soccer on daily basis and, I wouldn’t have had the experiences I’ve had.
“My time at Chesterfield made me realise why you play soccer, why you’ll take the anti-inflammatories to play.
“At Chesterfield we received the league, and I assumed, ‘Ah, I do know why I’m doing this now’. For the sensation you get, the sense of accomplishment you get, however I additionally understood why folks pay to observe soccer.
“On a Saturday afternoon you do really feel a bit like, ‘What’s my function?’. ”
Lee is now beginning the subsequent chapter in his life,.
He has gained a level in sports activities writing and broadcasting and is eager to get into teaching. Hopefully neither profession would require too many extra painkillers.