He went down in history as a solid England defender and player for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and West Ham. But it’s unknown to many that Gary Charles, who has now been sober for 12 years, uses his experience to help those who are battling with addiction.
Although his own struggles played out publicly at the height of his career, part of his recovery journey and his mission to help others comes with the work he does such as his new role. Charles’s work now extends to being an ambassador of a new rehab clinic in Cheshire, UK.
Delamere is a purpose built rehab and behavioral health facility that cost an estimated £7m to build. The recovery center has been recognised for offering an alternative recovery environment and treatments that cater for a wide range of addictions.
Charles said: “Helping others overcome addiction and alcoholism is something that is so important to me and its work that brings me so much fulfilment.
“I believe that if people like me are able to speak about the problems we went through it helps to reduce the stigma and encourage others to seek help.
“Tens of thousands of people attend football matches every Saturday and every single one of them will have some connection to addiction, either through themselves or someone they know. We need to make sure these people can get help and footballers can play a big role in helping to spark a conversation among fans.
“Delamere offers a unique environment for people to get well in. I’m really excited to be involved in such a forward thinking project that’s going to help a lot of people.”
Charles has found new purpose in helping others, which includes offering counselling to addicts and alcoholics in recent years through GCSportsCare. He also remains involved in football and is head coach at You Can Do Sport academy in Newark. The former player is clearly devoted to helping others, and developing young talent.