West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere has admitted he considered quitting football because of his injury struggles, also revealing he didn’t care about his rehabilitation when his young son was suffering with illness.
WIlshere’s son, Archie, suffered from seizures, leaving the midfielder uninterested in football and barely able to sleep. A number of injuries, including a fractured fibula bone which took eight months to heal, have famously blighted Wilshere’s footballing career.
Speaking in the Athlete’s Stance documentary, relayed by the Daily Mail, he said: “I’ve had different types of injuries and types of injuries that have affected me different mentally.
“I always think about one injury and it always plays in my head. It was in 2016, maybe 2015, and I picked up an injury in training.
“It was tough to take because I was making my way back to where I wanted to be and all of a sudden my four-year-old son was having seizures on the floor.
“It happened time and time and time again, every day for maybe three or four months and there were times when, in the middle of the night, I’d be rushing to hospital.
“Me and my wife would sit up most nights because most of the seizures were happening at night.
“So we’d put him to bed but most of the time we couldn’t sleep because we didn’t know what was happening with him, so we’d just sit up.
“I just forgot about football. I remember saying to my wife, ‘I’m not sure I can do this anymore’.”
Speaking further of his son’s illness, Wilshere added: “It makes you realise that football is not everything.
“A few people knew. That’s why I speak so highly of Arsene Wenger as well because he was brilliant. He said to me, ‘listen, you deal with your son, you take however long it takes’. This is why this injury took so long. People don’t realise that.
“They think you get injured and they say, ‘he’s always injured, he’s injury-prone, he’s never going to be fit’, but they don’t realise what goes on behind closed doors.
“For the first four, five months of that rehab I didn’t want to be rehabbing. I was in and out of hospitals.
“I wasn’t sleeping with my son, and I didn’t really care, to be honest with you, because my main focus was him. I sort of switched off from the outside world a little bit.
“It makes you change the way you think about things and life, because anything can happen.
“And yeah I’m a footballer and it’s great, but family comes first, always. Thankfully now my son is good, thanks to the doctors and the specialists he is under control.
“He’s been asking me all the time, ‘Dad, when are you back?’ So yeah I want to come back for him, and my daughter, she loves it.
“My new baby hasn’t seen me play football yet so I have to do it for her as well.
“I want to play for as long as possible. I genuinely do love football, it’s my life. It’s my kids’ life, it’s my family’s life, we’re a football family.
“My goal is to get back in the team and win as many games as possible. At the moment that is all I’m focused on.