FORMER Wigan RL ace Jason Robinson has revealed he once contemplated suicide during a troubled period of his career in which he was arrested for violent offences.
Speaking in a documentary shown on TV last night– Jason Robinson: Sports Life Stories – the 40-year-old former dual-code international admitted he had been a heavy drinker during his early days at Wigan, which almost led to his downfall.
Robinson, who scored for England in the 2003 World Cup final victory against Australia, said: “I got into a situation where I was drinking sometimes six nights a week.
“Monday it was Wakefield, 10 pence a pint night. Tuesday I would be over to Liverpool, Wednesday it would be Oldham. Thursday it would be Wigan. And after the game we would go out wherever.”
However, it was his arrest for affray, assault and criminal damage which left him considering an attempt on his own life and he credits then team-mate and Samoa star Va’aiga (Inga the Winger) Tuigamala with turning things around.
“I can remember I just sat in my bedroom with an old knife, an old meat cleaver,” he recalled.
Monday it was Wakefield, 10 pence a pint night. Tuesday I would be over to Liverpool, Wednesday it would be Oldham. Thursday it would be Wigan. And after the game we would go out whereverJason Robinson
“I didn’t want life to go on in this way. That night when I contemplated doing it, I wept like a baby.
“Had it not been for him (Tuigamala), coming into the environment I was in and putting a different slant on it, I certainly wouldn’t have the hope that I’ve got now. And hope is something that people can’t take away.”
The example that he himself followed was that of his Wigan team-mate and Born Again Christian, Tuigamala, who arrived at Central Park in 1994 when Robinson was downing bottles of vodka for fun.
He said: “I couldn’t work out why he was so happy. He turned up every morning with a smile from ear to ear, yet he didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he didn’t sleep around, he didn’t have the nicest car in the car park. It was when I finally realised what brought him such contentment that I realised it was what I was seeking myself.
“Well, the days of excessive drinking in rugby are gone. But I don’t tell anyone how to live their lives. If people can see something in me that helps them, then well and good, but nobody wants so-called Bible-bashing. We can all talk a good game, what I try to do is live it.
“I’ve been a bad lad. I know everything that could ever go on, and I know what to watch out for: the fame, the money, the trappings that can snare you.
“Besides, being a born-again Christian is not just about being Mr Nice Guy, warming a seat in church every Sunday. It’s about living the right way. I’m a father of five, a husband, I’ve got to set an example.”
Robinson, who enjoyed immense success before switching codes in 2000, also looks back on England’s World Cup win as the pinnacle of his 20-year playing career.
“When you look at the emotion on those players’ faces, it was the reality and the relief that we have just won a World Cup,” he said.
“And I will never forget that. Jumping on Will Greenwood’s back. Hugging Lawrence Dallaglio. All the hard work. Everything we’ve done has been for this moment.
“Nothing will ever compare to winning the World Cup, and especially in the backyard of Australia.”