David Moyes was delighted to sign 15-year-old George Green from Bradford City in an astounding deal potentially worth £2M.
After a number of less-than-honest stories over the years since he left the club aged just 18, about George Green's fall from the highest pedestal as a young star personally signed by David Moyes, this BBC piece finally comes clean about his drug and alcohol addictions.
At the ridiculous age of 15, Green signed a 2½-year contract under the watchful eye of David Moyes, and received a £45,000 signing-on fee in three installments of £15,000. It seemed a promising future with the Toffees beckoned for the Dewsbury teenager.
Four years later he was stood on railway tracks near his hometown waiting for the next train so that he can end his life, Green's hopes of making it as a Premier League player ruined by cocaine and alcohol.
» Read the full article at BBC Sport
Reader Comments (82)
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1 Posted 20/09/2018 at 16:48:22
2 Posted 20/09/2018 at 17:38:27
3 Posted 20/09/2018 at 18:45:27
A salutary tale of what can befall talented young footballers.
Reading it, you have to say Everton as a club come out of it well.
On recognizing he had a problem, the club packed him off to the well-renowned Priory Rehab Clinic for 5 weeks, picking up the £5000 a week tab.
Green himself admits he was his own worse enemy.
Given the other thread about Gary Speed and his mental health issues, this is another stark example of how young athletes and high performing sportspeople can fall victim to the stresses and demands placed upon them.
4 Posted 20/09/2018 at 18:54:49
I hope he continues to mature and tackles his demons. I hope its not too late to make a career for himself. He was a very gifted young player.
5 Posted 20/09/2018 at 21:28:57
But the hoovering up of young talent by rich clubs with more money than sense seems to be par for the course in the mad mad world of youth football...
I came across this piece below, written at the time of his sale from Bradford City to Everton. On one level, fairly generic stuff about investment in 'potential' and a number of other clichés... but, between the lines, there is some precipience in terms of what was to come:
It's a great deal for George himself. He'll be in there at Everton playing with and against better players, so he can only learn from them and become better for it.
No doubt he'll also be getting a few quid himself, which will set him up nicely for the future.
Everton are taking the biggest gamble because all they are investing in is potential.
How many times have we seen over the years when that type of potential has not been fulfilled?
There are no guarantees but if it comes off, they have got a player on their hands.
I've seen him play and while he may be quite slight, George has great ability. He's a left footer as well and does a lot of things off the cuff – he's an eye-catching player.
But you've not made it at 15. He has still got a hell of a lot to learn.
It's not just the football but the discipline side of the game and the sacrifices you have to make to become a professional.
He's got to realise that the coaches are there to help him and take everything they say on board, rather than try to be his own man.
In fact, that last bit probably nails a vital element of pseudo-parental custodianship that the club manifestly failed to provide at a crucial stage in his development.
15... $45k... Utter feckin madness!
6 Posted 20/09/2018 at 22:01:57
In fact its not as if Everton hadn't warnings previously.
One real gem we lost in Billy Kenny. Without doubt, in my opinion, we lost a future Everton and possible England captain.
Based on the number of actual youngsters we bring in who actually make it to become a top first team regular is it worth offering these kids daft money at such an early age? Might it not be better not getting into these bidding wars and possibly signing a youngster of possibly less potential but one who actually sees the club as a good fit?
7 Posted 20/09/2018 at 22:18:02
You cant really blame the club. Yes, they have a responsible and it sounds to me like Unsworth and Sheedy did what they could when his problems became known. At age 15, the lad is still very much the responsibility of his parents - the very mention of whom is missing from this article. Even at 18 or 19 my own parents would never have let me get away with the things George Green apparently got up to.
I think Im probably in a minority by only having a certain amount of sympathy. Ultimately, its a persons choice to drink or take drugs. The article says he relapsed in April this year, at the age of 21/22 and with a child at home. Given how much hes already lost and how much he still stands to lose, what will it take for the message to get through?
8 Posted 20/09/2018 at 22:22:27
Now what it doesn't say and what we don't know is where and who with that money was deposited. I presume the 15-year-old boy had parents, no? And I also presume they did not forgo their parental responsibilities on the day he signed for Everton.
Is it not unreasonable to assume, as Green was still very much a minor for the 3 years he received those £15k instalments, the money was possibly paid into a joint account with his parents as co-signatories to any movement in that account. Or possibly placed into a trust fund.
Because what Green and the article also clearly states is that as a junior footballer, he was on just £150 a week. Not a fortune by anybody's standards. He also said he behaved and looked after himself well until hitting his 18th birthday when, as a legally independent adult, he started his overindulgent behaviour that almost killed him.
He also said he was very good at hiding this aspect of his life from his coaches at Everton, but as soon as the club did get wind of it, they placed him in the Priory Rehad Clinic and picked up the tab.
Yup! I don't disagree the monies awash in the game, particular for young players, is obscene and potentially – as in this case – very destructive.
Everton may be held accountability on one level for not picking up on things earlier. Equally, the same could be said of the lad's family and friends, but – to repeat – (as is commonplace with addicts of any vice) he was very adept at hiding his addictions from those who were best placed to help him.
Everton may not merit an A+, but nor do they merit a D-, based on the content of the article.
EDIT: As I wrote my own post, I see Garry posted and echoed some of my own thoughts on the situation.
9 Posted 20/09/2018 at 22:36:07
Not sure how I'd have handled that amount of cash, expectation & local celebrity status as a teenager. Not well I suspect.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone etc...
10 Posted 20/09/2018 at 22:59:32
11 Posted 20/09/2018 at 23:10:30
“It went straight to my head. I just went out and blew the signing-on fee,” he remembers. “You're earning thousands of pounds a week and you get more leeway than other players. You don't want to take liberties but I took more than one.”
Green was playing games for Everton's Under-21s within a few months of his arrival such was his potential. But as the money rolled in he admits he found it hard to maintain his focus.
“I wasn't going into training because I thought I was better than everyone else,” he says. “Being an idiot. Being an absolute idiot, if I'm honest. I wasn't turning up sometimes because I wasn't enjoying it and I thought I could do what I wanted. When I did go in, I was training absolute shite. When you're playing at that standard you can't do that. It's a better game than that.”
The arrival of Roberto Martínez in 2013 to replace David Moyes appeared to offer Green hope but a hernia injury meant he fell down the pecking order and spiralled into depression. There were even message-board rumours that he had checked himself into rehab.
“It was nothing to do with drink or drugs,” he says. “I suffered really badly when things started going wrong on the pitch. I wanted to take my life a few times. There were a couple of bad stints but now I've come out of them stronger,” he says. “I was expected to make the first team at 16 and then win an England call-up. But if you have one bad game then you start having people question you and asking why you aren't progressing. It did all get too much because I was only doing the best that I could.”
“They did everything they could but unfortunately I threw it back in their faces,” he says. “Everton knew I had ability but they wanted to see that I could be more professional and unfortunately I didn't show that.
“I was sent to see a psychologist to get my head right but he didn't really help. He gave me some tablets which I didn't take because I didn't want to be known as someone who needed that to feel right. It all hit me at once. I pushed away all my friends and family because you don't realise they are there to help.”
“The people behind the club didn't understand how I worked as a player so it got to a stage where I thought it's not about the money,” he says. “If a manager shouts at me, I won't respond. I'll tell them to fuck off and walk off. Whereas if they put their arm around me I react differently. It has had a negative impact on my life in some ways but it was important to me to find happiness again. I just wanted to go back to my old roots and start enjoying the game again.”
Quite a different picture. I guess he's just a pretty seriously messed-up kid who didn't really respond to the efforts the club made. I still think the age-money combo was obscene, but appreciate that it may have been what the market called for — although, if that were the case, wouldn't there have been a lot of even more obscene deals for up-&-coming 15-year-olds in recent years??? In which case, perhaps the club has learned a lesson and put some lower age limit to prevent deals like this.
I do recall something on other more recent rules about kids not being able to sign professional contracts before their 17th birthday? Perhaps that came in after this sad episode.
12 Posted 20/09/2018 at 23:21:31
A very honest account and I wish him and his new family well... Was it George who had the video clip of him trying to rap to "Boats and Hoes"?
13 Posted 20/09/2018 at 23:51:09
The scary thing is the date shows this was over 8 years ago. He seemed a lad who needed a bit more discipline and structure.
14 Posted 21/09/2018 at 03:23:01
We don't have the option of £5k a week rehab (in fact there is no rehab available on NHS as I found out the hard way). There's so much talk about raising awareness and hoping it helps people but it's not enough, there needs to be money put into funding rehab and mental health hospitals for those at the end of their tether, sadly there is nothing but a half-arsed system that fobs people off.
No wonder there are so many who drink and do drugs just to try adn get through the day. Hopefully one day it will change for the better.
15 Posted 21/09/2018 at 08:05:59
The Hope Centre in Smithdown Road, which is behind the Asda in Wavertree, is a 17 bed unit dedicated to help detox people with addictions. Focussing on mainly drugs and alcohol, you will receive a 7-10 day inpatient stay for an alcohol detox and up to 28 days inpatient stay for drugs. They will also detox you from methadone and Subutex, if you want to be free of all drugs.
Once you have completed your detox, you can then ask to be referred to a rehab centre for further help. If in Liverpool, it will probably be at Park View in Kremlin Drive, which can be up to a six month inpatient period. If on the Wirral, Phoenix Futures will provide further rehabilitation. Some clients prefer to go out of area to Littledale rehab in Bolton.
If you have an addiction, your first port of call is your GP, or you can call into Ambition Sefton, who are based in Bootle and Southport. They will give you advice and support, and if required refer you to the Hope Centre for detox. If you're in Knowsley get in touch with Addaction. DART provide help in Liverpool city centre, they are based in Windsor House.
There are many peer led support groups in Liverpool such as AA, NA, CA, Genie in the gutter, SMART and the Brink. Dedicated people with previous addictions, who have managed to overcome, who give there time freely to help others. It's such a shame that some people with addictions don't recognise their dedication and commitment to help them.
16 Posted 21/09/2018 at 09:02:10
17 Posted 21/09/2018 at 09:04:48
In the past, when I knew young players with ability at football and they were going to trials at clubs, I always told them the most important part of their body was their ears: listen and take it in — some lads just can't do that, and it applies to all young people in life: listen and you will learn... some do, some can't.
18 Posted 21/09/2018 at 10:37:22
This differs from other vices such as drink and gambling which are legal.
Despite arguments around legislation, this is the way it is and everybody knows it.
Green has flushed his career down the toilet. He was probably immensely talented but obviously lacks so much of what it takes to be a professional footballer, let alone a top one.
He acknowledges he has nobody to blame but himself. The club can only do so much.
There seems to be too much of a blame culture in society these days with people ready to use every excuse but to take personal responsibility.
Some people are just thick. Some people just make stupid decisions. It's not always some systemic failure. It's human nature.
At least, to his credit, Green recognises that it is all on him. It's up to him to see if he has the desire or ability to make something of the tatters he is left with.
19 Posted 21/09/2018 at 16:31:08
So, if that is really the case, I struggle to set this against the claims that what he has is, in fact, an illness. That's what people say these days.
I may venture into very dangerous territory here, but I see parallels in how homosexuality was treated as an illness, and a belief (still held by many) that it could be corrected by the application of similar moralistic absolutes — totally ignoring the intrinsic nature of sexuality defined at the molecular level by the 'imbalance' of one's chromosomes.
I guess it puts us deep into the classic "nature versus nurture" argument. Is it really an illness? Is it something brought on purely by circumstances? (In this case, an obscene surfeit of money seems to be a key factor.) Or are there perhaps equally fundamental differences at a cellular level that make some of us more susceptible than others?
20 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:02:41
This is not really the forum for this discussion but it doesn't differ from drink or gambling. They are all destructive vices; just because they are legal doesn't change the effect they can have.
21 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:09:59
That's the way it is but Jaysus life would be simpler if your suggestion were true.
22 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:24:49
The US is in the process of legalizing pot, with 11 states there so far, but the Feds resisting. The UK remains far behind this trend while Canada has taken this bold step.
The so-called War on Drugs was and is a complete joke. Legalization and taxation are the only way, with the emphasis on personal responsibility and arbitrary age limits.
23 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:28:52
24 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:31:39
Tommy@18, I read that something like 18% of Dutch teenagers had tried Cannabis, in a country were this drug is legal, but the figure was closer to 70% in England, were this drug is still illegal.
So what? Maybe? But drugs are as much a part of the English culture as fish &chips mate, and if a kid is given way too much, way too soon, then they need guidance, especially if they are going to be living away from home at such an early age.
Remember Buddy Coyle, possibly better than Billy Kenny even? Injured, living in L4, next door to L11 and Crocky, ended up being a heroin addict, when he was definitely destined for the top. It happens everywhere, there but for the grace of god indeed James@1.
It's a fucking hard life, especially for the ones that fuck up.
25 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:41:38
One upcoming challenge is likely to be how he deals with the post-op pain from the impending back surgery. His doctors will have to be extremely careful about what medications they prescribe, if any.
I wish him the best.
26 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:49:33
27 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:52:40
If he has an illness that makes him do this then I hope it is diagnosed and that he receives the correct treatment for it.
It seems to me however that he's been an idiot and blown all his money by trying to live life like the big man. He's come unstuck, as lots of young lads do. But he made his choices, most of which he says were after the age of 18. So he was an adult professional footballer at a Premier League club when offered coke and decided to say yes.
I feel more sorry for the decent lads who work their guts out and try and live a decent life trying to make some sort of living out of the game.
The fact about legality or whatever is an argument I make exclusively about professional footballers. Your run-of-the-mill 18-year-old, when he makes a decision to take drugs, doesn't have to consider, really, that he may lose his job if he takes the drug. Unlike drink and gambling, Green will have absolutely known for a fact that the drug he was taking was illegal and that he would likely fail a drugs test if tested, leading to potential ban, breach of contract and reputations damage. Yet he chose to anyway.
28 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:01:02
I don't know much about addiction, but I know a bit about depression (which underlies some addictive behavior), and I know willpower can't overcome it.
29 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:02:34
30 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:20:45
They where wrong choices admittedly but choices all the same.
31 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:26:25
32 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:27:04
Blurred lines... close to home, I know... cancer bridges both categories, I guess.
33 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:30:31
I'm tempted to interpret your blunderbuss generalization as making out the lad was powerless to resist... and that the outcome was inevitable. I don't think it's that clear-cut by any means, but please put me right.
34 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:33:29
Getting addicted and not being able to stop even when you desperately want to stop – that's the disease.
Billions of people consume alcohol every day without being alcoholics. But with some people, one drink can trigger a binge or a downward spiral. That's the disease. There's a proven hereditary aspect to it. They've identified specific genes, as they have in some forms of cancer, that make some people susceptible.
35 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:40:01
I don't think you can compare depression with the decision to do coke on £1,500 nights out. I refuse to accept that wanting to be Dan Bilzerian or Connor McGregor is an illness. It is simply a symptom of modern society amongst millennials.
There is plenty of help for him if he wishes to treat his Class A drug taking. In fact, the club supported him with treatments that average members of the public would not have access to. He received help and treatment and up to a point it worked for him.
But he may just be an idiot. It's a shame, as he obviously had bundles of talent and I had hoped that he would be the next big thing for our club; sadly he wasn't. And much of our investment has lined the pockets of the city's drug dealers.
36 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:47:58
Where intervention isn't possible at the gene-editing level, people can make interventional decisions based on known genetic weaknesses. On the most extreme level, it can take the form of women choosing to have mastectomies based on genetic testing that shows a high likelihood of developing breast cancer.
There may not be an actual genetic test yet for susceptibility to alcohol or drug addiction, but I know people who won't touch alcohol because alcoholism runs in their families, so they're addressing a potential medical issue with a behavioral change.
37 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:50:57
38 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:52:27
I agree, Mike. Surely he didn't have a disease a minute before he took drugs ?
He, like everyone else in life, made a choice. That choice backfired horrendously on him.
Now he's hooked, maybe now it can be classed as a disease.
39 Posted 21/09/2018 at 18:58:21
Something on the order of one in five patients remains clean and sober five years out.
As I said, I wish him the best. I hope his back surgery goes great and his doctors are fully aware of his addiction issues when they treat him for the pain. One good shot of post-op Tramadol could start the spiral all over again.
40 Posted 21/09/2018 at 19:01:53
Thanks for the link but it doesn't explain your outburst at 31.
I think you will find as your link says, the initial decision to take drugs is generally voluntary, is what everyone is implying. After that initial decision then God only help him.
Not quite sure what the rant was about or at?
41 Posted 21/09/2018 at 19:45:26
I was brought up in Norris Green during the eighties, and it was a regular thing to see young kids and even men in suits “tooting smack” at the back of the 14C.
I've seen people make fortunes, and known of schoolmates to overdose, and often wonder what it would be like to live in a society where every drug was legal, especially considering the power of alcohol, which I'm sure has no equal in destroying the mind, the body and the soul?
42 Posted 21/09/2018 at 19:48:54
The stats are low. But if money were no issue, how many of these people would actually want to stop taking drugs? It's the not being able to afford them and committing criminality which then becomes the reason to stop.
Everyone knows the reputation that drugs have. Everyone knows they are addictive and everybody knows that taking drugs is a bad thing because of this reason. Green knew what he was getting into. He probably enjoyed being the big man and probably only realised it was a problem for him when his money started to dry up.
This nimrod thought nothing of driving around when drunk. A ticking time bomb who has been extremely lucky not to have killed himself or others with such recklessness. Good riddance.
43 Posted 21/09/2018 at 20:20:51
Mike, I didn't want to delve to deeply into the subject, but you're bang on the money about the addictive personality. It's contended that some people are born with this condition. Whether if be sex, food, gambling, gaming or whatever, you may be hotwired not to be able to control the addiction.
Nurture has its place also. If either of your parents were alcohol or drug dependent, there's a good chance you could follow in their footsteps.
Mike has highlighted possible problems George may face post-op. Non-prescribed pain relief is gained by using illegally gained heroin based medication like oxycodone, Hydrocodone, or drugs like Pregablin or Gabapentin, which are more readily available and cheap.
Tommy, I respect your opinion as it resonates similar to my mother's opinion of depression. She is 80 and truly believes it is all in the head of the person who has depression and should snap out of it. I don't try to change her mind even if her opinion is wrong, because her opinion is fixed.
Does anyone really think George Green made the conscious decision to become an addict? Chances are he succumb to peer pressure at 18, when someone offered him drugs. In much the same way many cigarette smokers began their nicotine addiction. From then on without professional help, his drug abuse was inevitable
Finally, sometimes the decision to abuse drugs/alcohol is taken out of your hands. A few years back, I admitted a chap into the Windsor Clinic, it was his first time. I asked him how long he had been drinking; he said about two years. He said he never used to drink apart from match days, where he would meet his mate in the Carisbrooke before the game.
Anyway, he said he was in there one Saturday afternoon having a pint with his mate when a copper walked in, who walked over and asked him if he was John Brown (not real name) he said he was. He said the copper asked him to bring his pint, and his mate over to a quiet corner. The policeman informed him that his wife and young daughter had been killed in a car accident on the M6, he then asked him if he could identify their bodies. After that the chap said he just crawled into a bottle and had been there ever since.
His story was not uncommon, many patients had experienced traumatic life events, which made them turn to alcohol or drugs to bury their mental pain. Not everyone has a stiff upper lip.
44 Posted 21/09/2018 at 20:48:52
I accept that some see addiction as an inherent disease and have no argument with that. My own opinion and my own experience is that they are learned habits that can be unlearned. However, what works for anyone is good.
What I can say, without doubt, is that no one chooses these paths and that George has been to hell and back. Of course, he knows it is self-inflicted, so did I. Tommy, tough love doesn't work because no one is tougher on an addict than themselves. I wish him all the luck in the world.
45 Posted 21/09/2018 at 20:53:16
I think we all know there are circumstances that can drive anyone to extreme acts, including addiction to drugs or alcohol. You've provided an example.
I don't see that anyone on here has said that Green should have had a 'stiff upper lip'. Rather, the importance of personal responsibility has been pointed out. Surely that factor is relevant to the discussion, in the absence of all of the facts of the case? Those who are 'supportive' of Green are not being criticised, whilst those who point to the role of personal responsibility are in effect being criticised for their views.
It's nice to say nice things about people who have erred, to defend them and look for mitigating circumstances. But the reality is more complex than that, human nature being what it is. In life, people's acts can vary from unselfish altruism to 'couldn't give a shit about anyone else'.
In this spectrum, I don't know where Green's actions lie, because I don't have enough information. However, on the basis of the information we do have, I have no alternative but to raise, at least in my own mind, the relevance of personal responsibility, because our actions can, and usually do, impact on other human beings.
46 Posted 21/09/2018 at 21:31:03
Some people will learn, most won't, but from the outside looking in, I always feel it's about how much a person wants to change.
That's a sad story, Phil, but as you say it's not an uncommon one. I once played football with a kid who wouldn't touch a drop of alcohol, and yet only a few years later, this same fella ended up in jail over his alcohol addiction.
I read the article on George Green, and the kid who I mention was actually the same Gary Charles, who Green, speaks to on a regular basis. I'd left by the time I heard Gary, had a drink problem, but I do remember the first time he had a drink because he spoiled my night, (I had a boss bird lined up!) when I had to take him home early.
I've never spoken to him about how alcohol got the better of him, but I know in the week before Forest played Spurs in the FA Cup Final, a lad on a motorbike crashed into him, and died. Then Gazza done his knee when trying to tackle Charlsey, and knowing him as I did, then Gary will have obviously felt jinxed.
Anyway, I'm glad he's turned his life back around and his now helping others, because he was a top lad, a genuine kid, who never had a bad bone in his body, and probably suffered/suffers in silence over the tragic event I mentioned before.
Out of 100 people, he would have been the one who I would have put money on never turning to drink, but injuries, boredom, and tragedies will take there toll on anybody.
47 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:04:24
Stan, you may be right about the tone of the debate, but even if George Green said "Sod everyone, I'm doing this because I want to" do we hang him out to dry, when he can't go on? I hope I'm not being nice about George, just supportive.
I used the metaphor 'stiff upper lip", in relation to opinions stating that people should have enough personal responsibility, or mental fortitude to just say no to drug pushers.
I try my best to be non-judgmental, in a world where it's all too easy to be. If you'd have heard of the atrocities some of the patients in Ashworth had committed, you would understand.
When you admit a patient for the eigth time for an alcohol detox, your professionalism is challenged. You start to think, what impact is your care having? I still treat them with the same dignity and respect as the previous admission, as you have to hope that after this time, they won't relapse.
48 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:08:17
I respect your post but resent you commenting on my views about depression. I've not shared them and you don't know what they are.
The way the article is written and the words that Green chooses indicate that he is or has suffered with depression.
We know he considered killing himself. That is a fact that he has discussed.
There are many stories of people faced with crippling problems with no sign of light at the end of the tunnel who consider suicide as an option to their predicament.
Does that mean that they have a mental illness? I'm interested in an expert view as I'm not sure it does. In some instances, could it not just be that someone hits a big low and considers where their life is going?
I don't think that the problems Green has had are mutually exclusive but I do suggest that addiction, contemplation of fate and suicide, crippling debt etc can exist separately from clinical depression.
49 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:25:34
I take your point about a need for action to try to remedy a situation. Doing nothing is seldom a sensible course of action. But it seems that, in this case, a lot has been done, albeit to disappointing effect, and it would appear that this is what happens in many cases.
In such cases, where the individual's actions are not improving, surely there must be a case for any further measures being focused on protecting other, 'innocent', individuals who can be adversely affected by those actions? Especially children?
In this respect, shouldn't our 'sympathies' and actions be directed at such 'innocents' rather than the individual concerned?
50 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:28:33
51 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:32:05
52 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:43:35
My mother's opinion on depression is intransigent; she is not receptive to other people's opinions. I am not judging you for having your opinion and I'm sorry for not expressing myself clearly in my previous post.
As I've said previously, not everyone has the same coping skills to deal with debt, death, separation from their partner, or dealing with addictions, and see suicide as their only viable option. People with Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, might have all these issues. For all we know, George Green could have had BPD or EUPD, but it went undiagnosed.
53 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:53:25
Only way is up and is for most addicts. Not all are strong enough to fight it, sadly. Hopefully clubs have learned lessons and yes take yourself around the clubs. Use your experience to educate younger players of the dangers out there.
Addictions come through many reasons. Finding the support and inner strength to fight against it is the real winner.
54 Posted 21/09/2018 at 22:57:55
We can't give up on them, Stan, the record for detoxes, both private and NHS based for an individual, is 21. Her story is well known, it was in the Sunday People. She was informed that her treatment had cost the NHS over £120,000, but no one gave up on her, her body did that a couple of years ago when she died.
I apologise if I've upset anyone, relating that story, because she was a local person.
55 Posted 21/09/2018 at 23:11:27
There is more information available these days through social media, news reports and health organisations around the detriments of substance misuse and the detriments it has upon not only your mental health but also your physical health as well, I'm 100% certain he will have had awareness training in this area.
I know this because I have been an RMN for more that 30 years. Working on the community for 18 in some of the most deprived areas of Liverpool.
I have had dealings with the excellent EitC team with some of the patients I worked with and they are big on self-awareness with regards substance misuse.
The club also educate the young players with regards poor lifestyle choices, admittedly my post may have come across as brickbat but ignorance is not an excuse these days.
He made poor lifestyle choices, end of. The lad has all but admitted that himself, it's nothing to do with disease, a disease is something we do not choose to have or be infected by.
Drugs and alcohol abuse we have a choice in... don't do it or suffer the consequences.
56 Posted 21/09/2018 at 23:53:15
Good god, surely you have to draw the line somewhere.
I know public money is squandered in other areas but that really does seem unfair. I dont know that anyone deserves 21 chances at anything.
I dont think Im cut out to work in that industry. Fair play to you, Phil G.
57 Posted 21/09/2018 at 00:01:27
58 Posted 22/09/2018 at 00:37:42
59 Posted 22/09/2018 at 01:51:20
As Andy said (fairplay to yourself, Andy), he was one of the 10% who 'came out the other end' and even after 20 yrs. I would hazard a guess that he doesn't see himself as 'cured'... whatever that really means... rather – just not 'sick' at the moment and is happy to keep on doing that for the traditional 'one day at a time'.
So if George Green is maybe not 'cured', but just – not 'sick' based on the 'one day at a time' thing. At least today, at the time he spoke he was – on that 'one day' what passes for him as okay. and he's hanging in there.
Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring – hence the 'one day'... and that'll do for me.
60 Posted 22/09/2018 at 02:49:15
I feel sorry for him personally. I do not know if it is disease or stupidity but he had the world at his feet, he lost it all, and I have pity for him.
61 Posted 22/09/2018 at 03:04:12
62 Posted 22/09/2018 at 03:07:57
I think I should have said "the NHS are overwhelmed and most places are full and difficult to get in to" rather than "there is no help"; my bad. I was just going from my personal experience last year.
Anyway, thanks to all who try to help in any way they can, good on yuz.
63 Posted 22/09/2018 at 03:15:47
Good for you mate. Thanks for bringing your personal struggles into this thread and giving some perspective. I think it is easy for us all to cast the first stone at a celebrity but everyone is human and we all have our faults. Good luck to George too.
64 Posted 22/09/2018 at 03:22:55
You could argue that it's a disease that's blighting society but man has had this pre-occupation with getting off his face since we have walked the earth.
I now work on a intensive psychiatric care unit and the wards are full of young lads/girls who have drug-induced psychotic episodes. Sad fact is, very few of them learn by their mistakes and end up as what we call revolving door patients.
The increase in this type of presentation has exploded over the last 10 years or so and psych services are at breaking point because of it.
65 Posted 22/09/2018 at 06:43:46
My brother died last May from pneumonia and hadn't seen him for 10 years.
Police found me and when I went to see him he was in an induced coma and thin as a rake. He was 62.
Since I was 14, I watched and idolised this 6'-2" Blue. A funny, sharply intelligent and good looking man who developed a good career in journalism. He was a sub on the Newcastle equivalent of the Daily Post. His writing was warm, insightful and he had a great record of training young journos.
I also watched his constant battles and steady decline due to his long term relationship with heroin.
How did such a bright man make such a daft decision in the first place? In his case it seemed on the surface by playing with the fantasy generated by the West Coast music scene and the Blues he loved.
Him and mates had legendary parties and lifestyles it seemed to me as I entered by adult life. But I read stuff he wrote in detox and while using. Painful solitary stuff that I since found in his meagre belongings. All about what seems the chasm he kept trying to fill was our Mum's death when he was 14.
Fast forward, and most of those party people now settled down I think with fun/warning stories to tell grandkids. Sadly for our Mike I always think the Pink Floyd lyric applies. "No-one told you when to run,You missed the starting gun."
So he eventually lost job and home and after our Dad died we lost contact. I think he did not want to continue to influence me and let me watch his decline and visa versa.
So there you have it. From posh Heswall, privately educated, very talented, incredibly devious re the Heroin, lived in squalor of his own making in a housing association flat in Tranmere, had everything (to us) to live for and (to him), nothing.
His funeral had a mix of some very thin users, a social worker (whose book he edited), journalists he trained (including one who came from Caribbean and others from round UK).
So was it a disease, an addiction, a lifestyle choice, the throw of the dice, an abandonment of responsibility? No idea really. Probably all of that. The professionals who work in the field will tell you there are differing and unresolved medical/social theories.
At the funeral, I said we should celebrate what he did achieve despite heroin and nodded to those be trained or helped.
It struck me that to focus on what he should have achieved would have been the most cruel of all send-offs.
Me, mates, my Dad, professionals, and most of all, himself, shouted, encouraged, pleaded, funded and everything else to help him "recover". Bottom line: it just never worked.
So the lesson I think in relation to all theories above is that most are right... and at same time, wrong; and if we are truthful, we still have little idea as to why.
66 Posted 22/09/2018 at 07:43:28
Dave, you can say it as often as you want, mate, and you're certainly entitled to your professional opinion.
But the latest medical science says otherwise.
Here's a good article from The New England Journal of Medicine:
67 Posted 22/09/2018 at 07:56:09
68 Posted 22/09/2018 at 08:42:58
At an early age, could someone from the club guide or mentor him better? Are there measures in place at the club to try and prevent the next George Green or Billy Kenny from happening?
We had Jose Baxter back last season at the academy in an attempt to straighten him out and get him back playing. He is with another club now and hopefully doing well. Is that an option for Green once he reaches fitness?
69 Posted 22/09/2018 at 10:55:31
This distinction between choice and disease for those three 'phases' strikes me as very important, since it may influence what measures are put in place to avoid, prevent, control or mitigate (preferably in that order) excessive drug/alcohol use and its effects.
This seems similar to the handling of 'traditional diseases' like cancer etc, where there may be elements of choice that influence the rate of occurrence and success of treatment. I suppose the difference is that, for those diseases, it is often a 'low probability' connection between lifestyle choice and disease occurrence, even in some cases like the linkage between smoking and lung cancer.
In contrast, it seems that the choice of excessive drug or alcohol consumption has a relatively 'high probability' connection between lifestyle choice and disease occurrence. In other words, it's about taking a high chance of severe consequences, compared with choosing not to.
For me, that's the distinction here and, as I say, I think it's one that's important to make from the practical angle of ensuring there are adequate measures in place to help people avoid or prevent the problem rather than control or mitigate the consequences.
70 Posted 22/09/2018 at 21:37:08
Dave Lynch, sorry about any confusion: I was annoyed with Dave Barks's post at #31. The fact that he fails to explain himself speaks volumes, as does the link he posted at #37, which in no way addresses the causes for why addiction takes hold in some but not others.
For me, Dave Lynch, this is too clear-cut: "Drugs and alcohol abuse we have a choice in... don't do it or suffer the consequences." For many of us, there is a middle path: do drink and drugs in moderation, enjoy them to the full, and stop whenever you want because you remain in control. You don't have an addictive personality, or the innate potential for disorders described by Phil. A lot of people drink and do drugs without becoming addicted.
That conundrum is better addressed in the link Dermot posted at #51 which I would recommend all on this thread read; it explains this:
People with addiction should not be blamed for suffering from the disease. All people make choices about whether to use substances. However, people do not choose how their brain and body respond to drugs and alcohol, which is why people with addiction cannot control their use while others can. People with addiction can still stop using – it's just much harder than it is for someone who has not become addicted.
It's the changes the substance(s) do to your brain that create the addiction; that is the disease. But knowing that is going to happen beforehand... that bit is akin Russian Roulette. The piece goes on:
Some people think addiction cannot be a disease because it is caused by the individual's choice to use drugs or alcohol. While the first use (or early stage use) may be by choice, once the brain has been changed by addiction, most experts believe that the person loses control of their behavior.
Some great posts from Phil and Stan, but please all, scroll back up and read Dermot's harrowing personal account at #65 that had unfortunately gotten delayed in posting.
71 Posted 22/09/2018 at 22:33:27
Maybe me dropping off this thread spoke volumes, but not in the way youre trying to imply. Maybe I had a loved one struggle with addiction and attempt to end their life. Maybe I saw a close friend of mine struggle with drug addiction after having been sexually abused as a child, hanging herself at the age of 22.
Maybe I just had my Father-in-Law put a bullet in his head only 3 months ago after becoming addicted to opiates because of a spinal injury. He felt like a failure for repeatedly not being able to get off the drugs, he tried over and over and over. But he couldnt and each time it took something else out of him. Each time he felt worse and lower and hated himself, he felt ashamed. After years of trying, he took a gun into the backyard, put a sack over his head and pulled the trigger. I had to see the aftemath and we are now trying to take care my wifes Mom while we ourselves are struggling more than I can explain.
So maybe the volumes that my silence spoke was me dropping off and into a bit of despair. Because these stories are incredibly personal to me. That was the reason for my silence. God bless.
72 Posted 22/09/2018 at 23:51:12
Money, Immaturity and the arrogance of youth combine to give a young lad richest to excess. Without guidance nor common sense he is a dangerous fool to himself. His struggle will be with him a long time as will his regret but I wish him well and hope he can put his demons to bed.
73 Posted 23/09/2018 at 00:18:55
74 Posted 23/09/2018 at 08:47:43
75 Posted 23/09/2018 at 09:03:16
I love ToffeeWeb, Lyndon and his aides must be doing something right, because it's been going for 25 years. However, if you go on the Grand old team website, they have a sub forum dedicated to mental health, which is well subscribed.
I'm only a newbie here, but looking at some of the posts on this thread, it could be contended it would be therapeutic for ToffeeWeb members to share their experiences on mental health on a similar forum. For those who haven't seen it, probably not many, here is a link.
Presently, it has had over 10500 replies and has been going five years. Is there a need for one on ToffeeWeb? I don't know, maybe if you need to ventilate your thoughts and feelings, you can visit GOT.
Maybe we can keep this one going. Whatever happens, it's obvious that you don't have to scratch much beneath the surface to find that most, if not all people, are affected by mental health issues.
76 Posted 23/09/2018 at 15:22:15
As someone who also has personal and professional experience of people afflicted by mental health issues and addiction, I truly wish it was as simple as 'correcting personal choices and habits' as some in this thread believe it to be.
There is plenty - and I mean HEAPS! - of science and medical papers showing (as linked by some above) addiction is not necessarily about a 'life choice' or 'self-destructive inclination' by any individual, but rather, down to the neurology of how each of us is 'wired'. And that has little or nothing to do with nature or nurture, but rather, a roll of the dice of your genes.
As some of the harrowing examples shared demonstrate, many came from good supportive family homes, had a good education, good job skills, were all-round decent citizens in their communities.
As is also often the case, a single traumatic life event can be the trigger for an individual to make the 'choice' of seeking temporary relief from the pain they experience. Totally unbeknown to them, their family, friends and medics, their neural wiring makes them vulnerable to be held hostage by their 'choice' and they become ensnared by an addiction nobody could have foreseen.
I find it extremely intolerant, far too simplistic - ignorant, even - to glibly say: "Yeah well, they chose to be like that. You can't call it a disease at all."
I'll wager those who fall into addiction in the manner the likes of Phil Greenough describes, in their lucid moments, are only too well aware they are prisoners of their addiction, that what they do to themselves is self-destructive and that they desperately want to be liberated from it. But so powerful are the altered neurons in their brains that they are commanded by them, rather than being in command of them.
They are victims to be helped. Not self-indulgent narcissists to be ostracised and scorned.
77 Posted 24/09/2018 at 20:48:48
What encourages me so much about this thread is that most of us see the issue is so, so complicated
There lies hope!
78 Posted 25/09/2018 at 08:53:46
I think all posters on this thread see the issue as complicated. Regarding my own posts, as I've said, from the available evidence I see choice as a relevant matter depending on the nature of the circumstances. For me, the central issue is what measures can reasonably be put in place to reduce the chances of addiction, including in situations involving 'recreational' drug use.
From my viewpoint, to look at such measures we need to be logical and analytical. The emotion and personal experience drive our desire to improve things, but logic, analysis and evidence should drive our execution.
I have my own personal experience, my father taking his own life, and my mother, my two sisters and I, discovering his body when I was 5. That personal experience drives the desire to understand, but as I say the execution must be analytical. It is the only way.
80 Posted 25/09/2018 at 11:06:19
82 Posted 25/09/2018 at 17:44:04
The insanity is to be a Blue as you die from other madness.
EitC understands this and their well qualified to also do great things.
Never link that to shit play. Never.
83 Posted 25/09/2018 at 19:21:41
I assumed we were done and jumped around my mates shop when he give me the news of the third goal. As the great Raymond Carver described it, every day free of the demon is just gravy. I would love more from Everton but this club and it's supporters owe me not a thing.
84 Posted 25/09/2018 at 19:22:15
I was talking to someone today, whos brother once had a big connection to Portsmouth FC. He was saying that Pompey fans, are very much like Evertonians, and he thinks its because they both love there respective clubs so much.
He said although Pompey are top of the league, they conceded a last minute equaliser on Saturday, and got booed off the pitch, at the final whistle.
They wind us up, frustrate the life out of us, but what would we do without them? A trip to Wembley would lift the gloom, and god knows we deserve it!
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