TNT Sports host Darrell Currie left fighting for his life with mystery illness (2024)

MUCH-LOVED TNT Sports host Darrell Currie has opened up on a mystery illness that has left him fighting for his life.

The 41-year-old was a regular face on BT Sport’s Scottish football and Champions League coverage until everything changed in September 2022.

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This was a very difficult story to tell but I felt this was the right time to tell it.
I know there are a lot of people out there suffering and if I can help in any way, I will.
I’m fighting as hard as I can for my family. I won’t give up. Neither should you. ❤️ https://t.co/cBXqwh1BcE

— Darrell Currie (@darrellcurrietv) July 5, 2024

That was the evening when just before 10pm, live on air, he felt something erupt inside his head as he stood in the studio alongside Michael Owen, Chris Sutton and Gordon Strachan.

Brave Currie has now opened up on what happened during the final segment of the show covering Celtic’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

And he revealed how it was the start of a health nightmare that has meant he has been unable to work due to living in chronic pain while his life has been ruined by the crippling illness.

He told The Athletic: “It felt like a bomb went off in my brain. Like something exploded in my head.”

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Recalling the exact moment it happened as his pundits analysed the game on air, he said: “The second it happened, I remember holding onto my chair.

“I felt dizzy, like I was going to fall out of my seat and pass out. I managed to finish the chat and get to the break but I came off air feeling terrible.

“Walking back to the TV trucks, it felt like the ground wasn’t there. I had no real sense of where I was.”

He headed to London the next day to present another Champions League game despite his body still reeling, leading to him being diagnosed with labyrinthitis - inflammation of the ear - after a late-night private GP appointment.

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But things continued to get worse before three weeks later it all came to a head as he hosted the broadcaster’s coverage of Scotland versus Ireland.

Currie said: “I texted the producer during the second half asking how long the post-match segment was.

Scientists discover more than 200 symptoms impact the daily lives of people with long Covid

“I was struggling to stand up and every time I was turning my head to chat to the pundits, I felt like going to faint or fall over.

“I take a lot of pride in my work so I would never, ever not finish a programme, but that night the producer saw something was not right with me. He came into the stadium during the game and said he was taking it out of my hands: I was being taken off air. It was the biggest weight off my shoulders.”

That evening, which was on September 24, 2022, was the last time that the star was able to present live television.

Currie, married to pilates instructor Jennifer and who has two children, says his legs completely seized up as he continued to struggle with his physical decline.

He tried physio but the chronic pain spread all over his body and left him unable to work and he struggled to even get out of bed towards the end of 2022 and early 2023.

Currie was eventually told by a specialist in Germany that it was believed he had early symptoms of arachnoiditis, which is a rare, progressive inflammatory condition that affects the part of the body that protects the nerves of the brain and the spinal cord.

After joining a number of online groups he was left petrified as sufferers described paralysis as it worsened.

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Currie said: “For those few months after that diagnosis, I’m not sure I wanted to be alive.

“I would talk to my wife often about, ‘What is the point in being here?’ I couldn’t really see the light of day.

“I would never have committed suicide, as I remember speaking to Kris Boyd about his charity and I know how that can be for your family, leaving them like that.

“I never told anyone I was thinking of it, but I was genuinely trying to think of ways I could do it — even if that was abroad so it was something assisted.

“The pain was horrific. My neck felt broken, my back felt broken, my whole body felt broken. I could barely hold my head up. I was questioning everything.”

His wife proved to be his inspiration to get him through his darkest days and after “getting my head together”.

He has undergone steroid treatment, but he suffers with disequilibrium from lighting and carries an umbrella-turned-walking stick whenever he goes outside.

He has to perform neck and spine exercises as soon as he wakes up and has to sleep with a heat pack on his back that has stripped skin from his body.

But he has now finally been diagnosed with chronic pain and nerve damage in his spinal canal.

He now works with Dr Ben Sinclair, who is using his own experiences of long Covid to help treat others, who believes that Currie is also a sufferer of it.

You're Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is whyThe Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others…You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

Currie tested positive for Covid in 2022 just two weeks before tearing a disc in his back.

He also said he got “terrible tinnitus”, which he claims was a side-effect after getting his first vaccine.

He said: “This is possibly the start of the story. After the second and third vaccines I had weird feelings — pins and needles up my arms, across my face, it felt like my tongue was vibrating, my jaw was hardly moving and I had headaches. Now doctors say those are signs of mild allergic reactions.

“Did the Covid vaccines potentially affect my immune system and so, when I then got Covid, could my body not react? Was it immune failure, attacking itself? A lot of doctors I am seeing now feel that is what happened.

“There might be loads of people like me who have been told they have got something like fibromyalgia or MS or some neurological condition, when actually it could be something post-vaccine or Covid itself.

“What I know is there are a lot of people suffering.”

He has since undergone monoclonal antibody therapy which are injections to try and attack the spike proteins that exist in the body from Covid.

And he has also been offered a riskier experimental treatment that involves six weeks of triple antibiotics being infused intravenously into the bloodstream which is hoped would get rid of any underlying bacterial infections.

But after remortgaging the family home, he says: “There is a point where you wonder if you have to stop searching, as it is so expensive. It is not easy with money. My wife is working really hard and we’re trying to give the kids the best life possible.

“Equally, when people are saying there is the possibility this might work, it is so hard not to try it. I was with a rheumatologist who told me there was someone in four weeks ago who was in a wheelchair and now they’re running after it. You get these stories. The doctors are telling the truth, but I know they might not work for me.

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“A lot of our life savings have been spent on trying to find a way to live. My parents have been really supportive. They don’t want me to give up. It would be easy to give up and say this is probably long Covid but I want to live the best life I can.”

He concluded: “I don’t know if I’m going to get back to who I was. I have accepted that, but I am going to give it a bloody good try and find a way to keep living.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on116123.

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NHS sets up centres to tackle long Covid

THE NHS has set up special centres for thousands of people suffering with long Covid - as one in five people develop lasting symptoms after contracting the coronavirus.

Since December assessment centres have been taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing conditions such as anxiety, brain fog, breathlessness, depression, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

Patients will need to be referred by their GP who will asses their symptoms so that they can rule out other health conditions before referring patients to the long Covid centres.

There will be a total of 69 centres dotted across the country and NHS England has coughed up £10 million in funding for the network of clinics.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive hailed the move and said the NHS was “taking action” to help those still suffering from ongoing symptoms.

Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that one in five people with Covid-19 develop longer term symptoms and around 186,000 people suffer from problems for up to 12 weeks.

Some 11.5 per cent were still suffering fatigue after five weeks, 11.4 a cough and 10.1 per cent a headache.

TNT Sports host Darrell Currie left fighting for his life with mystery illness (2024)
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