Ray Wilkins has denied allegations he has a drinking problem and revealed he is suffering from the chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis.
Fulham confirmed on Tuesday that they had parted company with the former England midfielder, who was assistant head coach at Craven Cottage, along with head coach Rene Meulensteen and technical director Alan Curbishley.
Wilkins was involved in a touchline spat with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers in a 3-2 Premier League defeat at Craven Cottage earlier this month and it was claimed that the 57-year-old had turned up to the game under the influence of alcohol.
However, while the former Chelsea coach admitted that he can appear “worse for wear”, he confirmed that is down to the fact that he is suffering from the same condition that has hampered Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher’s career.
He told The Daily Mail: “I need to control the ulcerative colitis with strict medication, which I had not done before the Liverpool game.
“That is the reason I didn’t return to the dug-out after half-time as I needed to be close to a toilet.
“Unfortunately I can look the worse for wear but it is nothing to do with drink. I did have verbals with Brendan Rodgers, but it was nothing.
“I was face to face with (Fulham) chief executive Alistair Mackintosh and the owner Mr Khan straight before the game.
“And if I had been unable to carry out my duties, they had the right to sack me on the spot. I most certainly hadn’t been drinking on the train before the match.”
Wilkins, who was charged with drink-driving last year, had not informed Meulensteen about his illness and was eager to set the record straight as he is determined to stay in the game.
“I didn’t want to make a fuss about my illness, I didn’t tell Rene,” he added. “Darren Fletcher said how hard it was to tell his team-mates.
“But I desperately want to carry on in football and there’s no chance of that happening if everyone gets the wrong impression that I have a drink problem.
“I was very stupid about the drink-driving and I have had trouble with depression on occasions. But not since I was back in football. I was so excited about the Fulham challenge, but it’s all about results.”
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