In cricket, once suicidal John Mooney finds new life

Playing in a world cup is the ultimate dream of a player. Playing in his second successive ICC World Cup in 2015, John Mooney can be proud of his cricketing achievements. However, everything was not cosy for the Irishman.

By Jayanta Oinam | Updated: Mar 02, 2015, 00:52 AM IST
In cricket, once suicidal John Mooney finds new life

New Delhi: Playing in a world cup is the ultimate dream of a player. Playing in his second successive ICC World Cup in 2015, John Mooney can be proud of his cricketing achievements. However, everything was not cosy for the Irishman.

The 33-year-old, in an recent interview, revealed that he struggled with his daily life and things had become really bad during Ireland's tour of the West Indies in January-February last year.

Talking to Ireland's RTE Sport, the pace bowler opened up that the death of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes after he was hit on the neck by a delivery brought up memories of his own father dying on the cricket pitch.

Mooney lost his father when he was just 11, in front of him; and has since been fighting with depression. Things got complicated with his excessive drinking. During years of battle against depression, he even considered committing suicide.

The game of cricket helped him gain the love of life and his country. "My father dropped dead in front of me as a 11-year-old and I never really dealt with those issues coming into my teenage years, I got into a bit of trouble. I made a promise to him that I was going to play cricket for Ireland and that was the real driving force for me to even stay in the game,” he said.

However, during Ireland's tour of West Indies January-February last year, things aggravated and contemplated taking his own life. Luckily Mooney shared his feelings with his wife and managed to seek help.

He was allowed to return home early from the West Indies tour and received counselling which helped him. Now, he is part of an impressive Irish side taking on the might of world's greatest cricket powers.

Mooney played in both their World Cup matches – against West Indies and United Arab Emirates – winning both the games. Four years ago, he starred in their famous win over England in India. In that match, he took four English wickets, then hit a four off James Anderson to registered that historic win.