King of the I’m a Celeb jungle Harry Redknapp made a triumphant return to our screens last night with ITV’s Harry’s Heroes: The Full English.
The premise saw the football manager, 72, reunite a team of former England legends to train them back to their former glory, before they take on old rivals Germany in one final grudge match.
While it seemed Redknapp had his work cut out with his unruly team – with Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock proving himself to be the real star of the show – viewers were equally moved by an honest and frank discussion the team members had over mental health.
While heading on a fishing trip with David Seaman and Robbie Fowler, former Arsenal favourite Paul Merson opened up about his battle with addiction, admitting he was once on the brink of suicide as he struggled with his gambling problem.
Talking about the darker time in his life, he said, “Addiction is a strong thing. It’s weird how it takes you. I’m playing for England. I have all the money in the world. And I wanted to kill myself.”
Viewers were quick to praise Merson for his open discussion on an important matter, taking to Twitter to thank the star for his honesty.
Other fans added they felt emotional themselves seeing Merson open up.
Since the programme aired, Merson thanked the viewers for their support.
“Thank you for the supportive tweets, means the world to me,” he said. Taking one day at a time but it’s getting better for me. Addiction is the most lonely of places and I’ve had three of the worst types over three decades. Never be afraid to talk, you’re never alone.”
Harry’s Heroes: The Full English concludes tonight at 9pm on ITV