Dale Thomas has opened up on what he described as the “lowest point” of his life where he would sometimes sit in his car and cry before training.
Thomas, who retired last year after playing 258 games with Collingwood and Carlton, says having to juggle football while dealing with personal issues involving his family took an emotional toll on him.
“The lowest point was going through the split with the missus in pre-season, my daughter being sort of removed from my care and only being able to get there every second weekend at best at the start,” Thomas said on an I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! podcast.
“And then having to try and rock up to pre-season and then also dealing with some issues about how I was feeling about myself, everything in life.
“Having to deal with that while trying to be a professional athlete … at that point I didn’t really care. I was going to do the job – but I hated it.
“There were times where I’d rock up to training and sit in the car in tears then rock up and be court jester to try and hide it.
“I was liked for that, but I knew I was being a fraud, so that ate away at me as well. I knew I was sad; I didn’t know what to do.”
Thomas, 32, played a key role in Collingwood’s 2010 premiership was named All-Australian the following season.