Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters has opened up and spoken honestly about losing his mother as a child.
Walters’ mum died when he was just eleven-years-old and he was brought up by his father, along with his two brothers and sister. Until recently, he admits, he couldn’t talk about the loss.
Speaking in an extremely emotional interview with Radio Five Live presenter Tony Livesey for International Women’s Day, Walters talks about how he has kept his feelings locked away since his mother passed away.
He described to Livesey, who also lost his mum at a young age, how his father told him that his mother was ill and that she wouldn’t be around much longer.
“I remember getting told, probably a week before, by my dad.
“He just pulled us into a room and said ‘look, your mum’s not going to be around for much longer’.
“I took myself off and I probably would have cried for about six hours, seven hours.”
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) March 8, 2018
Walters continued, talking about how he went to school the day after she passed away. He also mentions how his children are now a similar age to what he was at that time.
When Livesey mentioned about keeping feelings buried, Walters replied:
“I lock it away.
“That’s how I deal with it, I lock it away.
“I probably did from the day she passed away.”
It’s an extremely poignant interview and is, at times, difficult to listen to. Walters shows an admirable honesty in examining how a devastating loss impacted his life at such a young age, and freely admits that he didn’t grieve properly despite being extremely upset for a long time.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena