A former footballer, who once battled sexual addiction and debts exceeding £80,000, is now dedicated to supporting other players in overcoming their off-field challenges. Drew Broughton draws from his personal experiences to assist young English players, earning the moniker “The Fear Coach.”
At 44 years old, Broughton enjoyed a 17-season career as a footballer in the lower tiers of English football. Representing 22 different teams, including prominent clubs like Norwich, Wigan Athletic, MK Dons, and Wrexham, he participated in a total of 482 matches, scoring 91 goals. However, Broughton‘s career had a darker side as he grappled with sexual addiction and accumulated substantial debts, leading him to seek treatment at a mental health clinic in 2012, ultimately forcing him to end his footballing journey.
Having triumphed over his personal struggles, Broughton now dedicates himself to aiding players and coaches in conquering their performance-related concerns. He has transformed into a mental health specialist renowned as “The Fear Coach.”
“A decade ago, I found myself in a rehabilitation center, having lost everything. I resorted to sleeping on my brother’s couch, burdened by an £80,000 debt. Although I maintained professionalism throughout my career, mental challenges plagued me. I was excessively analytical, consumed by fear of failure. The desire to succeed in certain aspects became overwhelming, leading me to exert excessive control over every aspect of my life,” recounts Broughton.
“After my goal against Wolves at Molineux for Norwich, I joined Newton Boro a few years later. I had the privilege of representing my country at the U-21 World Cup alongside Michael Owen. Yet, I questioned my presence at Newton Boro, thinking, ‘What on earth am I doing here? This is absurd.’ I experienced a loss of self, grappling with my identity and what I sought from the sport. Rather than giving up, I recognized Newton Boro as a tremendous opportunity to reset my career,” Broughton explains.
“I provide assistance to players and coaches, addressing their mental challenges. The nature of my support varies based on their individual needs. However, my focus revolves around diverse topics such as fear, authenticity, and ego, guiding them on a journey of self-discovery. When a player underperforms, it does not imply incompetence—it signifies a loss of self-awareness. Restoring one’s identity is the primary step,” Broughton concludes, as shared with the British publication “442.”