Former Norwich City winger Robbie Brady has revealed the mental health issues which "paralysed" him as he attempted to come to terms with the loss of close family members and the injuries which have plagued his career. 

Brady established himself as a national hero when he fired the Republic of Ireland to victory over Italy at Euro 2016 and then scored against hosts France in the last 16. 

However, the now 30-year-old has spoken about the anxiety with which he was living following the deaths of an auntie, a cousin, a close friend, his nanny and his grandad, and a succession of fitness problems including a serious knee injury which sidelined him for almost a year. 

Brady, who left Norwich for Burnley in a £13m deal in January 2017, said: "It was after I done my knee the year after the Euros. Up until that, I hadn't a care in the world. 

"I was loud, this, that and the other. Then, I don't know if you've ever had anxiety or anything before - honestly, I hadn't a clue about it. Then, one day, boom, just paralysed. I was like, 'What is this?'. 

"I was frozen solid. That went on for two to three years." 

Brady's heroics at Euro 2016 helped to land him a big-money move to the Clarets, but with injuries having taken their toll once again, he was released in October last year, joining Bournemouth on a short-term deal before heading for Sky Bet Championship Preston during the summer. 

Now fit and back in form - he is on international duty with Ireland this week having made 21 appearances for the Lilywhites so far this season - life has improved dramatically off the pitch too with the help of his wife Kerrie and the support network he has around him. 

He said: "I played with people over the years who said, 'Ah, I can't wait to finish, I don't like football'. That was never the case. I still love it, but with my injuries and all this stuff, I didn't realise how important your head was. 

"They say you carry stress in your body, and it does come out. It was a rough few years. I struggled. But I'm back now, I'm happy."