Hull City midfielder Jake Livermore has described his positive drugs test for cocaine as a “get out of jail free card” that helped him come to terms with the tragic death of his son.
Livermore tested positive after a Premier League match against Crystal Palace in May 2015, almost a year after the death of his child, but the Football Association did not issue a ban do to “the specific and unique nature of the circumstances surrounding the case”.
The 26-year-old has now opened up to BBC Football Focus about the circumstances and says he was glad he got caught so that his mental state could be addressed.
“It was a young human being who got lost in circumstances and didn’t know how to react,” he said.
“I put my hands behind my head and laid back in the manager’s office. He [Steve Bruce] looked at me, saying ‘this could be serious, this could be two years or four years banned’. I didn’t care.
“It should have been the best weekend of my life. It’s what kids dream of. We were on a high that season, we’d already got safe and really we overachieved. What happened after, we weren’t really expecting.
“The day after the [FA Cup] final, my missus went into labour and from then it all sort of spiralled out of control.
“To lose a son in a scenario which should have been under control – and was under control at one point – makes it all harder to deal with.
“It should have been a glorious and happy time for everyone. It was tragic and very difficult to stomach. That is one place I wouldn’t want anyone to be.
“I was obviously nervous and it was starting to hit home that people were going to realise, but something needed to be done and sometimes God works in mysterious ways. It was my get out of jail free card.
“My career didn’t even come in to it. Football took the back seat. I was worried about how it would affect those around me. My mum, dad, nan, brother sister, nephew, manager.
“The drugs were irrelevant, they weren’t the problem. I needed people to understand that it wasn’t about a jumped-up footballer.
“At least people knew the mental state I was in needed addressing. It was something a lot deeper that I needed to get off my chest. But whether you’re too strong to talk about it or not strong enough, it didn’t come out.”
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