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tough times Olympic hero Kenneth Egan on his battle with booze and the death of a team-mate

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Kenny Egan

Kenny Egan

Kenny Egan

Olympic boxing hero Kenny Egan has opened up on a desperate time in his life as he battled with alcoholism and came to terms with the death of his friend and team-mate Darren Sutherland.

Speaking to Virgin Media on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics, Ireland's silver medal winner from the 2008 Beijing Games was brutally honest as he reflected on a time in his life that brought so many highs and just as many lows.

The interview with air in 'Sports Stories' on Virgin Media Two at 8pm on Thursday, with the honesty of his words stirring emotions.

"The drinking was getting worse, the benders were getting longer," said Egan, as he reflected on his lowest moments.

"I wasn't looking after myself. I was wearing the same jeans for God knows how many days. Just horrible stuff."

Egan reflected on the death of his Olympic team-mate Sutherland in 2009 with real sadness, but admitted part of him believed the tragedy would give him a chance to go on another heavy drinking binge.

"I remember being in town one day very, very drunk in the city centre and the phone rang," he added. "They phoned to tell me that Darren had committed suicide.

"I was devastated, as you can imagine, bout in my crazy thinking of the time, I was thinking he'd have to be taken back from England and I won't be required at the training camp.

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The Irish Olympic Team, including silver medallist Kenny Egan, left, bronze medallist Darren Sutherland, right, and bronze medallist Paddy Barnes, arrive at Dublin Airport, Dublin
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

The Irish Olympic Team, including silver medallist Kenny Egan, left, bronze medallist Darren Sutherland, right, and bronze medallist Paddy Barnes, arrive at Dublin Airport, Dublin Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

The Irish Olympic Team, including silver medallist Kenny Egan, left, bronze medallist Darren Sutherland, right, and bronze medallist Paddy Barnes, arrive at Dublin Airport, Dublin Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

"We are going to have an extended break and that will allow me to drink even more. That's the self-centred horrible person I was. I won't be questioned for my drinking now because I can hide under this funeral.

"That's shameful, disgraceful stuff, but I'm okay to say that now because I am at peace with myself."

WATCH: 'Sports Stories: Kenny Egan' on Virgin Media Two at 8pm on Thursday

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