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Inside Matters: Hoddle - Fighting spirit saw me through

6 May 2020

Former Chelsea and Spurs manager opens up on how he battled for his health after a heart attack

For Glenn Hoddle the biggest challenge in his life happened away from the football pitch.

In October 2018, the former Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and England manager collapsed after a heart attack in a TV studio.

Speaking in the second part of "Inside Matters", a series of exclusive interviews with football stars about the mental challenges they have faced, Hoddle reveals how he handled his near-death experience, which he calls his biggest challenge.

'Out of the blue'

"It was a shock and that took a lot of getting over, I must admit," he says. "When it's your health, that's the most important thing in life, really."

"[There was] a lot of support from everyone from around me, from the medical side of St Bart's Hospital.

"But in the end, there's moments when you have to drag yourself out - the walks I had to do to get some fitness and to get the confidence back, it was a massive challenge, it really was."

Disciplined approach

Hoddle found that his competitive spirit from being a player and manager helped to aid his recovery.

"It came from within, the emotions, the strength I brought from within myself to say I was determined, that I was going to do what I had to do, to do what the medical side were telling me.

"I had this determination that if I had to walk, I had to walk and, my word, I’ve never known tiredness like it, just doing my walks every day.

"Even if it was 500 yards to begin with, eventually I got up to four miles, and it just shows you with the determination, and a little bit of time and healing, that you can overcome these things."

Hoddle also reveals how he saw out a difficult start as manager at Chelsea and how he recovered from the anguish at England's exit from the 1998 FIFA World Cup. 

Also in this series

See: Inside Matters: Stars discuss mental health challenges

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