“I NEEDED LIFE TO STOP. I NEEDED TO BE CUT OFF. I NEEDED TO BE PROTECTED FROM ME”
Now a sports agent, previously a professional cricketer for Lancashire and Derbyshire, Luke Sutton recently revisited an area of his past concealed from the public. Eight years ago he was treated at Priory Hospital, Altrincham for alcohol addiction. His recent experience of being reunited with his therapist, Sam, was one of reflection and acceptance. Speaking about his addiction, Luke said
“I knew I was broken and I knew I couldn’t carry on the way I was going, but I don’t think I had that clarity to go ‘this is what I need to do’.”
Back in 2012, Luke’s family and friends staged an intervention to encourage him to seek professional treatment but Luke was uncertain about their decision at the time
“When my dad came round, when I was at my friend’s house, that was when the Priory was first brought up. They had obviously been talking about it a lot, but I was completely unaware, and I laughed, and said “what are they going to do for me?”
“For the first week, I thought I was in the wrong place. I thought I was a bit better than everyone else. I’m embarrassed to look back on it now.”
Talking to the therapist, Luke said he is now able to look back at the 28 days he spent at Priory Hospital Altrincham with clarity and recognise that his friends and family made the best decision for him
“I was wrapped up in my own self-importance. I thought you know ‘If I don’t get out in 28 minutes, my business is going to crash’. It actually ran better while I was in here.
“I needed life to stop. I needed to be cut off. I needed to be protected from me.”
Luke is now a sports agent to professionals including Louis Smith, Sam Quek, Simon Mignolet, Carl Frotch and Nile Wilson. He is also father to two children, and is soon to be married to his fiancé. Speaking about life in recovery he said
“Life is beautiful, life is difficult.
“My view on how I look at everything around me, from people, to experiences, to my children, to my parents, as a friend, is so different to what it was before I came in here. I see colour now in everything, I can hear, I know where my happiness lies now.
“This is a place where I started to change my life, and that’s a big thing you know – big thing. I’m over eight years sober, my children are going to be 11 in a few days’ time so they’ve seen those eight and a bit years and it started here, and it’s really powerful for me.”
Luke has recently written a book, Back from the Edge, where he documents his addiction and journey to recovery. He also uses the book to talk about the important lessons he has learnt and to warn of the mental health difficulties that professional sportspeople can face, raising awareness of addiction in sport and how the right support can stop others before they spiral into the same type of experiences he faced.
Visit the Priory Group website to see the video of Luke’s interview and an extended cut.
You can also hear our interview with Luke here