WAYNE Rooney has admitted he went on secret two-day drinking binges as he struggled to cope with his fame.
The former England ace said he felt deeply anxious at the start of his career – leading to an “explosion” of troubling behaviour.
Rooney, who was thrust into the spotlight when he became a Premier League player at just 16, revealed he’d sit alone in his house for days getting drunk.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, he said: “I would actually lock myself away and just drink to try to take all that away from my mind.
“Locking myself away made me forget some of the issues I was dealing with.
“It was like a binge. Normally, that’s with a group of lads but this was a self-binge.
“I’d get a couple of days off and I wouldn’t want to be near anyone. I would sit in the house and for two days, I would just drink.”
On the third day, he’d use eye drops and battle through training, he said – adding: “I was in a really bad place.”
He said: “It was just a build-up of everything, pressure of playing for your country, playing for Manchester United, the pressure of some of the stuff that came out about my personal life, just trying to deal with all that pressure which builds up.”
Rooney said he wouldn’t have shared his feelings or problems in the dressing room at Man U – and said times have changed since he was a young star.
“Now, people would be more empowered to speak about that kind of thing,” he told the Sunday Times.
“Back then, you just didn’t speak about it. I never spoke to him (Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson) or any of my teammates about it.”
He also discussed his temper during the candid chat – and admits he was always “angry and aggressive” growing up.
“That was obvious when I came into football,” he said.
Wife Coleen, who has had to cope with a series of scandals involving alcohol and other women, soon learned when she was facing an “explosion”, he said.
“I would say ‘F*** it’ and go out and make silly mistakes with the explosion,” Rooney said.
I’d say ‘f*** it’ and there was an explosion… I was angry and aggressive
He spoke to the papers ahead of the release of new doc Rooney, which will be screened on Amazon Prime.
And he said he was happy with the “sincere” film.
“I have always had an image that I knew wasn’t me, but I have put myself in that position with things I have done,“ he said.
“But I am different from that. It was nice to get some things out and off my chest. It is almost like speaking to a therapist.”
Coleen also appears in the doc – and says that while she’s “forgiven” her husband for his misdemeanours, “it wasn’t acceptable.”
The pair were childhood sweethearts, meeting when Coleen was just 12 years old. They share four sons.
But Coleen has faced plenty of hard times in her relationship. Most recently, Rooney was pictured in a hotel with Snapchat models after a night out in July.