“I think the least selfish thing to do is kill me” – World Champion Steve Thompson on battling dementia
Rugby world champion Steve Thompson has revealed he was placed on suicide watch when his battle with dementia brought him to the brink of despair.
The 43-year-old former England hooker, part of the team that won the Webb Ellis Cup in Australia in 2003, admitted that he can’t remember much of his career and sometimes forgets the names of his wife Steph and their children.
In November 2020 he was diagnosed with early onset dementia and suspected chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Thompson told the Daily Mail: “A while ago I was put on suicide watch. A few weeks ago I was in a state on the ward.
“My doctor suggests some things to help me keep my head, like spraying some of Steph’s perfume on myself or looking at pictures of the kids.
“That day I was just like ‘f*** it’. There is an express train that runs through without stopping. It actually happened before I got there. I sat on the next one and just cried my eyes out.
“Sometimes I think killing myself is the least selfish thing to do. That can do that to me.”
There is a crisis. I’m f*****. But that’s for the next guy.Steve Thompson
Thompson retired with a neck injury in 2011 – he had previously done so in 2007 due to another neck problem but returned to extend his club career which has included spells at Northampton, Brive, Leeds and Wasps.
He suffered repeated concussions during his playing days and is part of a group of ex-players taking legal action against World Rugby, Rugby Football Union and Welsh Rugby Union.
He said: “I just want things to change. Rugby needs to understand the issue and stop lying about it. There is a crisis. I’m f*****. But that’s for the next one.”
He added: “I never really knew what a concussion was – I thought it was cold. no It can be any hit to the head. This has happened almost every day of my career – I’ve passed out on the Scrum machine so many times. I once did 100 scrums in one day. The guys said, ‘He’s taking a nap’ and went on.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/i-find-myself-thinking-the-least-selfish-thing-to-do-is-to-kill-myself-world-cup-winner-steve-thompson-on-dementia-struggle-41579934.html “I think the least selfish thing to do is kill me” – World Champion Steve Thompson on battling dementia