UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Former England football player John Barnes answers our health quiz

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Fighting fit: Despite a number of injuries, John Barnes is still a keep sports enthusiast


Fighting fit: Despite a number of injuries, John Barnes is still a keep sports enthusiast

Fighting fit: Despite a number of injuries, John Barnes is still a keep sports enthusiast

Can you run up the stairs?

No. I am not fit at all because I ruptured a tendon in my left knee and dislocated my shoulder in July while playing volleyball at my son’s wedding. 

I’ve had surgery, but I am still having physiotherapy. I usually swim a couple of times a week to stay in shape.

Get your five-a-day?

I try to eat healthily, but when you have young children, you have their half-eaten burgers.

Pop any pills?

My wife gives me vitamins. I’m not sure what they are — I just take them.

Ever dieted?

I prefer to say that I’ve tried to eat sensibly. I’m 5 ft 11 in and, when I was playing football, I was about 12 ½ st. I’m now 16 st and would like to lose weight. 

In the Eighties, we didn’t have advice on diet — we ate what we wanted. 

When you’re training every day, a KFC or McDonald’s isn’t a problem. At Liverpool, we won the European Cup three times eating fillet steak.

Any vices?

I hardly drink. I might have three glasses of wine a week. I also don’t have a sweet tooth.

Most serious accident?

I ruptured my Achilles tendon when I was 28 in an England match against Finland. I felt a really sharp pain, then numbness and was out of action for six months.

Any family ailments?

My dad had prostate cancer and died in his 70s. I am getting checked and everything is OK. My mum is 82. She qualified as a barrister at 69 and now practises in Jamaica.

Self-care: The ex-England star has revealed he regularly gets checked for prostate cancer after his father died of the disease - which now claims more lives than breast cancer

Self-care: The ex-England star has revealed he regularly gets checked for prostate cancer after his father died of the disease - which now claims more lives than breast cancer

Self-care: The ex-England star has revealed he regularly gets checked for prostate cancer after his father died of the disease – which now claims more lives than breast cancer

Cope with pain?

I’m OK. When I ruptured my knee I thought: ‘Oh, no,’ and that was all.

Tried alternative remedies?

I had regular massages as a footballer to loosen up muscles before a match.

Ever been depressed?

No. There are ups and downs in football, but compared to the rest of the world, it is a very fortunate life.

What keeps you awake?

I sleep five or six hours at most. I’m disturbed by the slightest noise and wake at 5am most mornings. I travel a lot — I’ve taken 280 flights in the past two years as an ambassador for Liverpool FC — and I think it has messed up my body clock.

Any phobias?

Sharks, because I saw Jaws as a youngster in London.

Like to live for ever?

Not if my family weren’t with me. I have seven children and two grandchildren. Two of them are doctors.

John is helping raise awareness of the Drink Free Days campaign. See drinkfreedays.co.uk  



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