Craig Bellamy manages football emotions by ‘seeing a psychologist once a week’

Former Premier League ace Craig Bellamy has revealed he sees a psychiatrist once a week to keep his mental health in check.

The Welshman, who played for Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester City and West Ham, was notoriously hot-headed during his playing days and was described by Bobby Robson as "the gobbiest footballer I've ever met". Anger issues, both on and off the pitch, have dogged him all his life and Bellamy says he's finally doing something about it.

"I didn’t know when [my bad moods] were coming, I couldn’t read the signals," the Burnley assistant said speaking on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet. "Now, I can see my mood changing and having a support network is really important.

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"I’m still not far off it – it could be as simple as a change of weather [to ruin my mood]. As a footballer, the emotional rollercoaster of being up and down, that’s never great to be living that, so I try and stay away from that and I’m able to see it.

"I make sure to keep on top of my fitness, I’ve got to eat well, I have an ice bath every morning. I manage it by doing preventative things. Talking helps, so I make sure I see a psychologist once a week and if I don’t to it, then I suffer."

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Bellamy has history of confrontation, and frequently fell out with the team-mates and coaches. He infamously hit Liverpool defender John Arne Riise with a golf club after a dispute on a squad night out – and celebrated a goal against Barcelona a few days later by mimicking a golf swing (charming).

He also threw a chair at Newcastle coach John Carver, was arrested for assault at Cardiff, boasted to team-mates about how much money he was on at Celtic, and was forced out of his first coaching role when claims of bullying came to light.

The 44-year-old reckons his problems with anger stem from his family, with both his mother and uncle suffering long-term mental health problems. "My uncle has really bad problems, to the point where he won’t even leave the house now. My mum has struggled for a number of years, so it can be passed down," he said.

"I always felt that even from a young age, how I dealt with certain situations, and how I could be really happy and then suddenly it would change, it scared me. I would look at the negative of everything and over-analyse it to a level where I would go crazy."

Bellamy began his career at Norwich in 1996 before moving on to Coventry in 2000. He joined Newcastle a year later, and ended up spending four successive seasons at St James' Park (his longest stint anywhere as a player). After falling out with Toon boss Graeme Souness he was loaned to Celtic in 2005, and joined permanently Blackburn at the end of the season.

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Moves to Liverpool and West Ham followed, as did a short stint at Manchester City and a loan spell at Cardiff. Bellamy then returned for a second spell at Liverpool, before joining Cardiff again a year later, this time on a permanent basis. He hung up his boots in 2014 but was hired as a coach by the Welsh club in 2016.

After stepping down following an investigation into claims of bullying in 2019, he linked up with former Man City team-mate Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht. He joined as the club's U21s coach, but eventually joined Kompany's first team staff. He resigned due to mental health concerns in 2021, but joined up with Kompany again at Burnley in 2022.

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