FORMER Premier League star Danny Drinkwater has lifted the lid on his wild nights partying while at Chelsea.
The three-time capped England international announced his retirement today at the age of 33 after being left without a club since leaving the Blues in 2022.
Drinkwater came through the Manchester United academy and after several loan spells he permanently joined Leicester.
The midfielder played an integral part in the team that won the Premier League in 2015/16 and the following year he earned a £35million transfer to Chelsea.
But after moving to Stamford Bridge, his career began to spiral out of control.
He featured just 12 times in the Prem for Chelsea, scoring only one goal,and notched up just 23 appearances in total for the Blues.
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He claims manager Maurizio Sarri tried to force him out the club, giving him one hour's notice to leave on Deadline Day, only for Drinkwater to refuse a move.
He was subsequently loaned out to Burnley, Aston Villa, Turkish side Kasimpasa and Reading but could not reach the heights he once did.
Family matters also took their toll on him with his grandparents passing away and his father being diagnosed with cancer.
Drinkwater suffered several injuries and was then hit with a drink driving ban for 20 months after crashing his car following a party while over the limit.
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Opening up on his career, he revealed that boozy nights out impacted his career.
He told Jake Humphrey's High Performance Podcast: "I was a single lad in London at the time so I was, without giving too much detail away, I was being a single lad in London, getting stuck into living in the city.
"I was trying to enjoy that side of life as a kind of cover for everything else.
"That's what I'd use to enjoy myself because everything else is going pretty s****y.
"You look back now and I'd be going out drinking, getting with any bird that I can. It was just mad.
"You're waking up with a hangover and it's like f***, last night's happiness has disappeared and it's back to reality.
"It was just not me as a focused footballer."
Drinkwater also admitted his drink driving charge was a changing point in his life, saying: "I remember I was in the cell for 23 hours.
"They usually take two or three hours them things – sobering up and I'm in this cell thinking 'what the f*** are you doing mate?'
"This is not you at all. It's not you as a person, it's not how you want to be as a person. You need to get a hold of yourself here.
"That's when I started seeking outside help with it all."
Drinkwater called his Chelsea spell "garbage" and that he is "frustrated" as he wasted potentially his best years.
On calling it a day on his career, he added: "It's probably been a long time coming, especially with the last year, but I think it's time to officially announce it now.
"I didn't think it would bother me but saying it then it's almost like scratching a nerve a bit.
"I think I've been ready for it, not stopping at my peak and it's simmered down a bit, that's helped the transition.
"I think I've been in limbo for too long, I've either been wanting to play but not getting the opportunities to play at a level where I felt valued.
"I just thought I'm restless here for no reason, I'm happy not playing football, but I'm happy playing football, so do I just shake hands with the sport?
"It's all I've known, it's been my life since I was six or seven, it was never going to be an easy thing.
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"I think the way it's died down has definitely helped. If I was playing week in, week out and had to stop through injury or age I think it would be trickier."
He hangs up his boots after declining offers to return from Championship clubs.
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