Wilkins reveals he suffers just like Manchester United man

Ray Wilkins, sacked this week by Fulham, has revealed that he suffers from the same illness which has blighted Darren Fletcher’s Manchester United career.

The former Chelsea man decided to make the announcement about the illness after being accused of having a drinking problem after he was seen looking ‘woozy’ in the dug-out in Fulham’s game against Liverpool.

Wilkins revealed that he has been suffering from ulcerative colitis, a chronic bowel disease, since 1990 and at times has suffered bouts of depression because of it.

Wilkins told the Daily Mail

I need to control the ulcerative colitis with strict medication, which  I had not done before  the Liverpool game,’ he said. ‘That is the reason I didn’t return to the dug-out after half-time as I needed to be close to a toilet.

Unfortunately I can look the worse for wear but it is nothing to do with drink. I did have verbals with Brendan Rodgers, but it was nothing.

I was face to face with (Fulham) chief executive Alistair Mackintosh and the owner Mr Khan straight before the game. And if I had been unable to carry out my duties, they had the right to sack me on the spot. I most certainly hadn’t been drinking on the train before the match.

Insiders have made a number of claims to the paper about Wilkins being ‘worse for wear’ and it this is what prompted him to make the announcement as he begins to fear for his future in football management.

Wilkins and Meulensteen before Fulham sacked them
Wilkins and Meulensteen before Fulham sacked them

Wilkins added

I didn’t want to make a fuss about my illness, I didn’t tell Rene. Darren Fletcher said how hard it was to tell his team-mates. But I desperately want to carry on in football and there’s no chance of that happening if everyone gets the wrong impression that I have a drink problem.

These same insiders are pointing to Wilkins’ drink-driving ban as evidence of their claims, but Wilkins said

I was very stupid about the drink-driving and I have had trouble with depression on occasions. But not since I was back in football. I was so excited about the Fulham challenge, but it’s all about results.

Darren Fletcher has recently returned to action for Manchester United despite suffering from the same chronic bowel condition which at one point put his playing career in jeopardy.

Ulcerative Colitis can be caused by a number of factors including an auto-immune response and causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, chills, weight loss, blood in the bowel movement and tenesmus, the constant urge to have a bowel movement.

There is currently no cure with emphasis placed on easing symptoms.

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Lee Hurley

Writer specialising in good football and bad relationships. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.