‘You can do anything when you’re free of drink and drugs’: Strictly’s Tony Adams details his battle with addiction as he marks 26 years sober
Tony Adams has reflected on his battle with addiction as he marks 26 years sober from alcohol and drugs.
The football legend, 55, is set to star in the new season of Strictly Come Dancing – aiming to raise mental health awareness during his stint on the show.
And chatting to MailOnline and other outlets, the former England manager admitted that he hopes to show ‘you can do anything when you’re free of addiction’.
‘You can do anything when you’re free of drink and drugs’: Tony Adams, 55, has detailed his battle with addiction as he marks 26 years sober
After turning the show down when approached six years ago before finally signing up for this year’s 20th series, the sportsman is hoping to share his mental health journey during the show.
Tony explained: ‘I’m 26 years without a drink or drugs, so I want to bring some mental health awareness around life and what I do today.
‘I run a business and charities, and we use dance therapy at rehab – It’s good for the mind so I thought I’ll go for it.’
Tony explained: ‘I’m 26 years without a drink or drugs, so I want to bring some mental health awareness around life and what I do today
Sportsman: The former footballer rose to fame playing for Arsenal and England, before coaching both teams – before turning his hand to charity work and addiction help
While he has been sober for almost three decades, Tony also candidly spoke up about a new addiction to work that he suffered when he was 49.
He shared: ‘I had a mental breakdown when I was 49, my new addiction was working too hard and with the stress I had a heart condition. So I decided to take things a bit easier – after Strictly.
‘You can do anything when you’re free of addiction, that’s my message I want to give out,’ concluded the budding dancer.
Tony originally turned down Strictly due to his football career, despite admitting that the show offered him a decent sum.
‘One of the main reasons I turned down chances to go on Strictly Come Dancing – despite the money on offer being good – was because I was concerned about not being taken seriously as a football coach after it,’ he told The Mirror.
The former footballer rose to fame playing for Arsenal and England, before coaching both teams – before turning his hand to charity work and addiction help.
Tony is now taking to the ballroom alongside 14 other famous faces – including Kaye Adams, Kym Marsh and Matt Goss.
Strictly Come Dancing kicks off on BBC One on Saturday 17 September.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter
Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’
Profession: Radio presenter
Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!’
Profession: Former athlete
Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’
Profession: Radio DJ
Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’
Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’
TONY ADAMS MBE
Profession: Retired footballer and manager
Tony says: ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’
Profession: EastEnders actor
James says ‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot.’
Profession: TV and radio broadcaster
Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’
Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’
Profession: Television presenter
Kaye says: ‘I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties memorable and i can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!’
Jayde says: ‘I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.’
Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’
Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’
Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’
Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter
Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’