Tyson Fury has been invited to give a speech at Manchester United’s training ground to discuss his journey from the brink of suicide to beating Deontay Wilder to be crowned WBC world heavyweight champion.
The Gypsy King’s win in Las Vegas capped one of the most remarkable comebacks in sporting history as Fury fought back from drug addiction and depression to land the world title.
Tyson Fury on his struggles with mental health
‘I woke up wanting to die on a daily basis, I didn’t want to live anymore because I was het up by depression so that’s as low as you can go. You’re looking at the man who has everything, acclaim, glory, fame, many achievements, a family and everything that goes with it, the trimmings, the gravy and still he isn’t happy. We’re made to believe success is happiness, but that’s very untrue. One day I woke up and thought, ‘today’s the day I end it all’. I was heading towards this bridge, I was going to smash the car into the bridge at very high speed, I just didn’t have the ambition to live anymore. Before I got to the bridge I heard a voice saying, ‘don’t do this, you’re going to destroy your family’s life,’ and I immediately pulled the car over and that was the first time I thought, ‘right, now or never. I need to get well immediately’.
Fury’s openness about his struggles has earned him praise from the sporting community, which still trails behind other industries that are increasingly willing to confront mental health issues.
The 30-year-old was seemingly on top of the world in 2015 when he claimed all four world titles by defeating Wladimir Klitschko but his career and private life soon began to spiral out of control, with Fury recently admitting he no longer wanted to stay alive.
Fury’s incredible comeback has already seen him receive invitations to meet Donald Trump at the White House and Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has invited the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane to speak to his players since he took over the reins at Old Trafford but Fury’s story means he can provide a unique insight into the struggles of battling back from the brink.
The Premier League’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign was kick-started earlier this year with clubs urged to do more to help players to speak about their struggles with mental health and to encourage conversations about dealing with stress. Fury, a Manchester United fan, has also been invited as a guest of honour for March’s Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.
The Wythenshawe-born fighter has made a number of appearances at the Theatre of Dreams in recent years and will be presented at half-time to the crowd should he take up the club’s offer.