Tony Adams to create counsellor network for struggling sports stars

Footballing legend Tony Adams has announced his plans to create a network of counsellors to help players with problems, reports.

Adams, who made a name for himself captaining Arsenal for a total of 14 straight years, has long suffered from addiction which blighted his days as both a player and manager. The defender, who also captained England, even titled his autobiography 'Addicted'.

Now, in addition to his work with Sporting Chance, the charity he established 12 years ago, Adams looks set to go one step further, by creating and maintaining a network of professionals with counsellor training to be called upon to help players suffering with addictions or mental illness.

It is hoped some of the counsellors would even be ex-players themselves, who can add a sense of empathy that others would find impossible to match.

Adams said he hoped the sessions would enable players to open up more and speak of things they would feel embarrassed about addressing at AA meetings. If such a service was available during his playing days, Adams claimed, he would have felt much better.

"The aims of Sporting Chance are threefold - education, residential care and aftercare," he told "That includes one-to-one counselling. But it's been an issue for me that in the last few years it has not been good enough.

"Yes, you have to do it yourself to get well. If you don't you are going to slip and slide - but we have not been nationwide in our help afterwards. I know how valuable seeing a counsellor is from my own experience. It was my path to recovery."