‘I can’t put into words how proud I am of you’: Harry Hickford – Dele Alli’s adopted brother – sends him a heartwarming message of love and support after emotional tell-all interview with Gary Neville
- Dele Alli opened up on his struggles in recent times via an emotional interview
- He told Gary Neville he was addicted to sleeping tablets and went to rehab
- His adopted brother Harry Hickford sent the midfielder a heartwarming message
Dele Alli’s adopted brother and best friend Harry Hickford has send a heartwarming message of love and support to the Everton midfielder.
In an emotional and tell-all interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap that was released on Thursday, Alli bravely revealed he checked himself into rehab recently to kick an addiction to sleeping tablets and confront his traumatic childhood, while he also opened up about his difficulties in recent years.
Alli was heralded as a generational talent during his early days at Tottenham but his career has not turned out the way many predicted.
The England star emerged as one of the country’s best young talents despite a troubled childhood that saw him taken into foster care.
And speaking candidly to Neville, Alli disclosed all about his time in a rehab facility and shocking revelations from his childhood, including one that he was molested as a child by a friend of his mother’s.
Dele Alli’s adopted brother Harry Hickford (left) sent him (right) a heartwarming message
Gary Neville sat down with Alli and conducted an emotional interview which was released on Thursday in which the Everton midfielder spoke openly about his difficulties in recent years
Alli, 27, (above) also revealed that he spent six weeks at a rehab centre in the US this summer
What did Alli reveal in his interview with the Overlap?
In a stunning interview with Neville, Alli:
- Revealed he spent six weeks in rehab in the United States this summer to help him with a sleeping pill addiction
- Opened up on childhood trauma of how he was molested by his biological mum’s friend aged six
- Admitted he started smoking when he was seven and dealing drugs when he was just eight
- Revealed he was hung off a bridge by a man from his local area as a child
- Says he feels betrayed by his biological parents and has no interest in a relationship with either of them
- Admitted he seriously contemplated retiring from football at just 24
- Hailed Mauricio Pochettino as the ‘best’ manager he’s ever played for and shunned others because they were ‘fake’
- Revealed Jose Mourinho apologised for calling him ‘f***ing lazy’ but it never made it into Tottenham’s Amazon Prime documentary
- Praised Everton manager Sean Dyche’s ‘understanding’ in recent months and is aiming for ‘a big season’ for the Toffees
His mother, Denise, has previously described his upbringing as ‘rough’.
Meanwhile, Dele himself admitted he fell in with ‘the wrong crowd’ when he was growing up as a youth in Milton Keynes, and would often hang out with older boys on the streets until 2am.
But the prodigious football talent was quickly spotted and he began training with MK Dons five days a week, and moved in with team-mate Hickford – who went onto become his closest friend – and his family.
And Hickford shared a photo of the pair on his Instagram account from when they were at school together with a caption showing his support for the 27-year-old after the heartbreaking interview.
He said: ‘I can’t put into words how proud I am of you @dele. It took so much strength and courage for you to open up about your recent struggles.
‘You will never understand how many people you have helped by doing so. You have endured so many ups and downs but have grown into an incredible person who I am so proud to call my brother.
‘It’s been a difficult few years but the steps you have taken have given you the very best chance for a happy and successful life. Love you brother.’
Alli is currently out in Switzerland as part of Everton’s pre-season training schedule.
The 37-cap England international is hoping to revitalise his career after an unfortunate loan spell at Besiktas last season.
He will hope to recapture the scintillating form he showed during his time at Spurs that saw him named in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year on two occasions.
Alli was also a winner of the PFA Young Player of the Year award in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The 27-year-old similarly played a crucial role in England’s memorable run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018.
Dele Alli was talking to The Overlap in partnership with Sky Bet
After meeting as youngsters when they played for MK Dons, the pair became best friends
Alli is hoping to get his career back on track after a difficult loan spell with Besiktas last year
The Everton midfielder, 27, has since returned to pre-season training with his parent club
Footballers, pundits, and fans take to social media to support Dele Alli as he reveals he spent six weeks in rehab after becoming addicted to sleeping pills… with James Maddison and Kyle Walker-Peters among those writing heartfelt messages
IAN LADYMAN: Once England’s rising star, Dele Alli is now at rock bottom – at 27. A sad failure on the pitch, grotesque excesses off it… THAT picture is the lowest point for a wasted footballing talent