Troy Deeney has said he “felt sick to the pit of his stomach” for dragging his family name “though the dirt” after he was jailed.

The Hornets striker was sentenced to 10 months behind bars in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to affray following a violent brawl during a night out.

Deeney, who said he does “not want to make any excuse for what I did”, said that he found out his Dad had cancer just a day before the incident and that his Nana had just died.

“So I was not in a good place,” Deeney wrote in the Players Tribune.

“I coped with it by going out drinking with a bunch of mates in Birmingham. Late that night someone told me that my brother was in a fight.

“So I went looking for him in a drunken haze, and I ended up kicking a person in the face and knocking him out. I can only say sorry and promise that it will never happen again.”

He added: “I’ll never forget when I was sentenced to jail. My mum used to work at the train station, and she would always tell her colleagues about how proud she was of her two sons who played football. All the trains had a free newspaper called the Metro.

“One morning the headline read something like FOOTBALL THUG SENTENCED TO 10 MONTHS IN JAIL. And on the cover was a picture of me and my brother. 

“How did it make me feel? Lower than low, like a worm on the ground. I was supposed to be the person who protected my mum and provided for her. Now I was dragging her family name through the dirt.

“Embarrassment doesn’t do it justice. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. You claim to be a man and that’s what you do? You can only own up to it and apologise, but it’ll never be enough.”

The Hornets striker said that he had to bury his father three days before going to jail.

Speaking about his time behind bars, Deeney said that one of the “positive parts” was having to do an alcohol course and see a counsellor.

He said: “I didn’t get that much out of it (jail), if I’m being totally honest, but at least it put me on the path to talking about things. 

“Still, it took me several years to realise that I could benefit from therapy.”

Speaking about his dad, Deeney said he still wants to make his dad proud, “which is what I’m working on in therapy at the moment”.

He added: “I know my achievements in football should already do that, but my dad and my granddad never got to see any of my real success. They never saw me play in the Premier League.

“In the case of my dad, I could never send him on a holiday or get him a passport. So I have never gotten that, “Well done, son,” that tap on the shoulder.”