The Prince of Wales has called footballer Dele Alli “brave and inspirational” for speaking out about his mental health struggles, telling him “We’re all with you”.
William shared his message after the Everton midfielder revealed that he had suffered sexual abuse as a child and has battled a sleeping pill addiction, coming out of rehab last month.
In an emotional interview, England international Alli fought back tears as he said he was sexually abused at the age of six and was dealing drugs by the time he was eight.
William, in a personal tweet, wrote: “Brave and inspirational @dele_official.
“Discussing mental health is not a sign of weakness. Let’s keep the conversation going.
“We’re all with you and we wish you the very best. W”
Alli was interviewed by Gary Neville in The Overlap podcast in partnership with Sky Bet.
He laid bare his difficult upbringing before he was adopted by the Hickford family.
William has long campaigned for more openness around mental health, particularly for men, and is passionate about the importance of discussing mental health in football.
The Aston Villa fan, who is president of the Football Association, launched a Heads Up campaign in partnership with the FA in 2020 to use the sport “to spread to message that we all have mental health, just as we all have physical health”.
As part of the drive, Alli featured in a short film the same year, narrated by William, which was played at the start of FA Cup matches to encourage football fans to look after their mental health.