When sports stars fall from grace, they fall hard. Often with careers that have peaked in their late twenties, once their form disappears they’re exited without grace, left to work out the new world and purpose for the rest of their lives on their own.
We explore this phenomenon via the Leon Mckenzie story; who in his early thirties, with his Premiership football career broken by injury, his marriage over and facing mounting debt, washed down a concoction of pills with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in a hotel room.
Only by the chance intervention of his father, ex-Champion boxer Clinton McKenzie, who raced through the London traffic from his gym, was he saved from a grim end.
Compiled from 5 years of filming, we follow Leon as he rebuilds his life and re-builds a career as a professional boxer. With interviews and insight from other ex-sports stars we delve deeper into the psychology of rebuilding a life, and battling the demons that surfaced as their careers died and they emerged from the artificial bubble of a professional sports career. What follows is a deeply personal inside story about the implosion of celebrity, and the tools that Mckenzie and others used to recover, as well as an examination of the men and women that didn’t get back on track. Defeat does not come when you fall, but when you fail to get back up.