Troy Deeney has spoken about the time he was punched by his late father as he revealed the impact alcohol and domestic abuse has had on his mental health.

The Hornets striker recounted how he used to cope with unresolved issues by drinking and spoke about how his late father Paul Anthony Burke was “in and out of jail all the time”.

In a powerful account on Players’ Tribune, Deeney explained how the perception of his Dad changed from “my superhero” when he was 10, saying how his mother was beaten by Burke after she left him.

The Watford skipper explained that his Dad had picked him, his brother and sister up and took them to their mother’s new house.

“Our mum had moved to a separate house, a maisonette, because it wasn’t safe for her to be around him,” Deeney wrote.

“When we got into the car, my dad had this look in his eyes that I’d never seen before. He just kept saying, ‘Take me to your house. I need to see your mum. Take me to your house.’

“We didn’t want to tell him the way, but we had no choice. When we got there, he kicked the door open and found my mum sitting in an armchair. He kept telling her that she needed to come home.

“She said, ‘No.’ And every time she did, he would punch her. I kept jumping in front of him, trying to make him stop, only to take a punch myself and fall to the floor. Then I’d get back up and take another punch.

“Fortunately, a friend of mine who’d heard the commotion told his mum about what was happening, and she called the police. That’s what saved us. Because who knows? My dad hadn’t shown any sign of stopping at that point. Two riot cars and four police cars later, they got him out.”

Deeney said that he can “barely remember” what happened that day and that all that stays with him is the "trauma".

He said: “Although I still had massive admiration for my dad, he was no longer this superhero. He went back to jail for that offence, and I’d start to get visits from social workers and things of that nature.”

However, Deeney said he still "admired" his dad, saying that "even after the horrible way he treated my mum, we were still close". 

Deeney also wrote that he has been seeing a psychologist for aound five years now and has spent “a long time dealing with unresolved issues”.

“I used to cope with them by drinking,” Deeney said. “I’d push down the pain. Actually, I used to think that it was normal to feel bad, like, 'Doesn’t everybody feel like this'? It was only when my drinking really got out of control that people went, ‘Troy, you need to see somebody.’”

"When I began to talk about my past, my psychologist would say, ‘So have you actually dealt with that situation?’ And I would be like, ‘Oh, no. I haven’t, actually.’”

“And this is the thing: It doesn’t help to just say that you have mental health issues. You have to work through them day by day. Only then can you truly understand who you actually are and what you actually want to do.”