My torment, by City star Michael Johnson
January 16, 2013
The Blues star, once tipped to be an England captain and hailed as ‘the new Colin Bell’, told MEN Sport he has been undergoing treatment for several years at the Priory Clinic, which specialises in dealing with mental illness, alcoholism and gambling addiction.
And in a heartfelt plea, 24-year-old Johnson, whose football career appears to be over, has asked that he be ‘left alone to live the rest of my life’.
It has emerged that City had decided in December to quietly pay up Johnson’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of June, and release him.
Asked whether he had a message to Blues fans, who are disappointed that he did not fulfil his potential, Urmston-born Johnson, a product of the City academy, said: “I am more disappointed than anyone but that’s the way it goes.”
He initially declined to say any more but rang us back, revealing: “I have been attending the Priory Clinic for a number of years now with regard to my mental health and would be grateful if I could now be left alone to live the rest of my life.”
The Priory has treated several high-profile stars, including Stan Collymore, Paul Gascoigne and Ricky Hatton.
City legend Colin Bell said last night: “It’s a terrible shame. It’s hard to accept when your career ends early and for his to end at his age will be really
difficult to take.”
Credit: Manchester Evening News