Ex-Super League and NRL star Ben Barba reveals he contemplated suicide and what stopped him

FORMER Super League and NRL star Ben Barba once had the world at his feet.

A complete maverick on the field, Barba had notorious problems off it. Just one of many examples, the livewire fullback – after becoming only the second person in history to win the Dally M Medal and the Super League Man of Steel – was released by the North Queensland Cowboys without playing a game following an alleged assault.

Throughout his past, the 34-year-old has struggled with demons, to the point at which Barba revealed that he contemplated suicide.

“I was at the point where I told myself ‘I can’t do this no more’, it’s sad because it’s not just me but society these days,” Barba said on the Unfiltered podcast with Andy Raymond.

“My experience was in the media a lot more. There were times that I wanted to end it all. It’s easy to say and look at someone and think ‘they’re so weak’ but when you’re in that position yourself, it is that easy to take all your problems away.”

It was the thought of Barba’s daughters growing up without a father that saved the 34-year-old’s life, he revealed.

“I always speak about it, my four girls probably saved me more times than one. I’m not ashamed to say it but I thought my life would be easier, but that’s easy for me to say because I can’t imagine what my girls would have felt like if their dad wasn’t around anymore.

“I could have handled it a lot better but no one taught me – I was Ben Barba the footy star, the famous person.

“Where I came from, my parents worked hard for what we had and I didn’t come from a lot but I wish I had a little bit more knowledge and strength to have been able to handle it better.

“Now when I think about it, I don’t think it was engrained in me. I didn’t have too many role models to choose from.

“I wish I had had the right tools at the time because I could have still been playing, although I’m 34 now I would have probably been retiring!”

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