World Cup winner Steve Thompson was recently placed on suicide watch as his battle with dementia drove him to the brink of despair; Warning: this article contains themes that some readers may find offensive.
Last update: 23/04/22 10:41
England World Cup winner Steve Thompson has revealed he was placed on suicide watch as his battle with dementia drove him to the brink of despair.
The 43-year-old former England hooker, who was part of the team that won the Webb Ellis Cup in Australia in 2003, has revealed he cannot remember large parts of his career and sometimes forgets the names of his wife Steph and their children.
He was diagnosed with dementia praecox and suspected chronic traumatic encephalopathy in November 2020.
Thompson told the Daily mail“I was put on suicide watch a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, I was at the police station in a state.
“My doctor suggests certain things to help me keep a cool head, like spraying me with Steph’s perfume or looking at pictures of the kids.
“That day I just thought, ‘f*** it’. There’s a fast train going by without stopping. In fact, it passed before I got there. I sat on the next one and I just bawled my eyes out.
“I sometimes catch myself thinking that the least selfish thing to do is kill myself. That’s what it can do to me.”
Thompson retired in 2011 due to a neck injury – he had previously retired in 2007 following a different neck problem, but returned to extend a club career which included spells with Northampton , Brive, Leeds and Wasps.
During his playing days, he suffered concussions several times and is part of a group of former players taking legal action against World Rugby, Rugby Football Union and Welsh Rugby Union.
He said: “I just want things to change. Rugby needs to understand the problem and stop lying about it. There’s a crisis. I’m f*****. But it’s for the good of the next.”
He added: “I never really knew what a concussion was – I thought it was cold. No. It could be any blow to the head. It happened almost every day. days of my career – I passed out so many times on the scrum Once I did 100 scrums a day The boys would say, ‘He’s taking a nap’ and keep going.
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