Hatton's father speaks of Ricky's mental anguish

Ricky Hatton’s father fought back tears today as he spoke of his anguish over his son’s battle with depression.

The 31-year-old two-weight world champion was admitted to a rehabilitation facility last night having battled with drink and severe depression for “several weeks”, according to his spokesman Max Clifford.

And Ray Hatton today revealed the issues which led his son to alcohol abuse - which eventually spiralled to the point where he was secretly filmed allegedly snorting cocaine while on a night out with friend Emma Bowe, the Irish national senior women’s boxing champion.

“With Ricky, he always wanted to please everybody – not just his family, but all the fans,” he told Sky Sports News.

“When he had defeats, he just felt like he’d let them down and he got more and more depressed, which led him to drink more and more.

“It led him to drink and despair. He said to us: ’I’ve let everybody down, including you and the fans, I need a drink to lift my head up’ – and it’s just gone from there.

“He’s got to be the one that realises that he’s poorly. Obviously it came to a head, and we all went round to his house on Sunday, his brother, his mum, his girlfriend was already there, and he just said to us that he needed help.

“We’d been waiting for a lot of months, as early as last week we were speaking to a counsellor about it, and the minute he said that I got on the phone to the counsellor.”

Ray Hatton also revealed his anger at some of the coverage of his son’s entry into rehab, saying: “It’s a very public thing, we wanted to do it privately between the family.

“When you pick up the papers and you see what the media are saying, some member of the family or some unknown source has allegedly said this, you just feel that people are getting the wrong impression.

“What brought it to a head today was an article saying that Ricky had gone into hospital shouting and bellowing at people, which is unbelievably not true and I don’t think his family, his mum, his little boy, his brother, his girlfriend and the fans should hear such rubbish.

“When I took him down to the hospital he went in, he signed himself in for an indefinite period, they asked him did he want to come in as a day patient and he said: ’No, I want to sign myself in and stay in until I get better’.

“It’s a massive fight he’s got on his hands, he showed a lot of bravery, and his family and fans will be behind him.”

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