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Watford’s Deeney on how social-media trolls targeted three-year-old daughter

Troy Deeney has revealed he lost the “buzz” for football after sick trolls sent him abusive messages about his three-year-old daughter.

Watford’s ebullient skipper begins his ninth season at Vicarage Road admitting the cyber pondlife’s ­insults contributed to his red mist last year, when Deeney sat out seven games through suspension and escaped a third ban for a crude ­gesture.

And when he was stuck in the cycle of anger and frustration, the Hornets’ longest-serving player even concedes it made him think: ‘Do I want to do this any more?’

Deeney bared his soul as Watford prepared for Saturday’s curtain-raiser at home to Brighton, saying: “I’m excited – I’ve got the buzz back for football.

“I lost it for a little bit and that’s been reflected in all the people who tell me I’ve lost loads of weight.

“I got my own little team together over the summer: a nutritionist, a ­psychologist, working with Jamie Reynolds (one of world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s ­trainers), and I stuck to a plan.

"The hardest thing for me is not having a plan and being left to my own devices.

“What made me do it? People writing me off – I didn’t love it at the time, but I love it now because they will have to come back begging (for forgiveness)… that’s the part I can’t wait for.

“I lost the love because the ­fickleness, all the pussyfooting around in football, was really getting to me.


“I’m not the kind of person who likes to keep his mouth shut. But when you speak up and ­challenge things, and you end up getting in trouble, it makes you think, ‘Do I want to do this any more’?”

Deeney, who has bagged 112 goals for Watford, saw red again when online morons decided his young daughter Amelia was fair game for cyber-trash.

He said: “When you post a picture of your daughter and people are ­saying certain things, you want to go and deal with it. But it’s probably a 15-year-old kid who’s just got home from school and he’s bored.”

Deeney scored only six goals last season, partly because he missed pre-season after groin surgery, but he senses a more productive harvest in 2018-19.

He said: “This time last year, I had just had an operation, I missed pre-season and was busting my b******s to catch up, and I probably over-tried because I got sent off twice.

“My frustration was always going to come out and a lot of the ­comments made about my daughter were being made around that time. Now I’ve got a feeling this year could be the best yet.”

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