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"I Was Alone" - Thierry Henry On How Infamous Handball Affected His Mental Health

By James Fenton

May 18, 2019 at 3:25pm


Disbelief. Heartbreak. Anger.

Just some of the emotions that sum up how the nation felt on the night of November 18 2009. Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland side had just put in the performance of their lives to stand on the brink of World Cup qualification only for it all to be taken away by a Thierry Henry handball.

In the weeks, months and years afterwards, the Frenchman's actions attracted hatred from Irish fans as well as others across the globe as he was branded a cheat who trampled on a country's hopes and dreams.

The whole saga showed how sport is capable of drawing strong emotions from people and tomorrow night Henry will finally present his side of the story.

Taking part in a hugely-important BBC programme called A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health, the World Cup winner will tell other participants, including Prince William, about how much the incident affected himself and his family.

Airing tomorrow night, viewers will hear Henry say "For the first time it happened to me, being the bad guy. So my family started to be hurt. That's when I'm vulnerable. For the first time, I'm like, well this is out of my hands."

He goes on to laugh off the unintended pun before adding "Nobody offered any support. You are alone in this type of moment. Nobody phones you, nobody says ‘how are you?’ You deal with it alone. My only way is like ok, tomorrow's another day.”

Appearing alongside Henry and the Duke Of Cambridge will be England manager Gareth Southgate as well as fellow footballers Peter Crouch, Danny Rose and Jermaine Jenas. All six will discuss their own experiences with mental health issues with topics such as bereavement, racism and abuse from fans being covered.

A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health will air on BBC One this Sunday at 11.30pm.

READ NEXT: WATCH: Peter Crouch Made A Cheeky Comment About Harry And Meghan Last Night



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