Not many people are lucky enough to play for the deep-pocketed giants of English football. It is a coveted position to be in. Michael Johnson had that chance that many talented young men would die for. Yes, Johnson donned the Man City shirt and was considered to a massively talented footballer, more talented than even Steven Gerrad when he started out.
But as fate would have it, Johnson’s star flamed out as quickly as it had taken to shine. The youngster took on the life of a reckless hedonist, guzzling gallons of alcohol in a bid to tame his emotions. What he wasn’t aware of is that he was doing lots of damage to himself. Depression kicked in. He picked up a nasty injury, leaving the top brass of the Manchester City Football Club with no choice but to relieve him of his contractual obligations.
His life was now on a free fall, hardly recognisable compared to the glitz and glam of playing for a top tier English Premier Football Club
“I was dealing with things the wrong way. I had too much free time. I went out too many times, going to nightclubs or whatever,” Johnson told The Athletic.
“I was going out and having a few drinks as a way of dealing with my emotions, to try to give myself a temporary high and feel good about myself for a short period… I was trying to escape my feelings by drinking.
‘Maybe people perceived that as, “He doesn’t give a f***”, that sort of attitude. But it was the opposite. This is the thing with depression. When you’re stuck in that mindset, you find any way you can to try to make yourself feel better.”