Ben Barba reveals how his daughters ‘saved him’ from suicide as he shares struggles

Aaron Bower

Former St Helens and NRL superstar Ben Barba has lifted the lid on his darkest moments in his playing career in a brand new interview: admitting his four children stopped him from taking his own life.

Barba, speaking on Andy Raymond’s Unfiltered podcast, admitted in harrowing detail how he spiralled out of control as his career began to be plagued by controversial moments off the field, and how extreme things became away from the rugby field.

A Dally M winner earlier in his career, Barba tested positive for cocaine use while at Cronulla Sharks, and his career – and life in general – became a point of conversation in the Australian media on frequent occasions. And he admitted in the podcast that had a significant impact on his life.

However, he admitted the presence of his four daughter prevented him from taking his own life, but did admit he had considered it on previous occasions.

“It got to the point of suicide where I would sit there and think I can’t do this no more,” he said. “It’s sad, because it’s not just me, it’s (a lot of) society these days.

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“My (life) was a little bit more in the media and there were times there that I just wanted to end it all. It’s easy to say this when you look at guys that do it, to say, it’s so weak.

“But when you’re in that position yourself, you think, hold on a second, it’s easy to take all your problems away. My four girls saved me more times than they’ll ever know.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I thought my life would be easier, but imagine their lives if they woke up and their dad wasn’t around anymore?”

After being released by Cronulla, Barba rebuilt his playing career in Super League with a stint at St Helens that saw him electrify the competition on a near-weekly basis. He won the 2018 Man of Steel, becoming only the second player after Gavin Miller to win both the Man of Steel and Dally M awards.

That form earned him a return to the NRL with North Queensland Cowboys but his contract was torn up before he even played a game after another controversial off-field incident. It effectively brought an end to Barba’s playing career and, now 34, he admitted in the podcast he finds it difficult to even watch the NRL anymore.

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