Jack Wilshere has revealed he almost decided to walk away from football in 2016.
The West Ham midfielder says he considered quitting the game three years ago, as he struggled to cope with continued injuries and the ill health of his son.
During one particular spell on the sidelines, Wilshere’s young son was suffering from seizures and the 27-year-old admits the struggle of dealing with an ill child and his own rehabilitation left him to contemplate retirement during his time at former club Arsenal.
“I always think about one injury, and it always plays in my head,” he told the London Evening Standard.
“It was in 2016, maybe 2015, and I picked up an injury in training.
“It was tough to take because I was making my way back to where I wanted to be and I would come home and, all of a sudden, my four-year-old son was having seizures on the floor.
“It happened time and time and time again and every day for four months.
“There’d be times in the middle of the night, I’d be rushing to the hospital and me and my wife would probably sit up most nights because, most of the time, the seizures were happening in the middle of the night.
“So we would put him to bed but we couldn’t sleep.
“I just forgot about football. I remember saying to my wife: ‘I’m not sure I can do this any more.’
“It makes you realise football isn’t everything. That’s why I speak so highly of Arsene Wenger, because he was brilliant. He said to me ‘You deal with your son, however long it takes’ and that’s why this injury took so long.
“For the first four, five months of that rehab I didn’t want to be rehabbing, I was in and out of hospitals, I wasn’t sleeping – with my son – and I didn’t really care, to be honest with you, because my main focus was him.
“I sort of switched off from the outside world a little bit.”